Montréal, March 22nd, 2015 – It’s safe to say that 2015 has been Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi’s year. The Quebecer claimed another podium finish on Sunday, winning gold in the under 78 kg class at the Judo Pan American Open presented in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Montrealer has reached the podium in all seven tournaments she has competed in since January.
After benefitting from a bye in the first round, Portuondo Isasi claimed victories by ippon over the Argentinian Lidia Arias and the Ecuadorian Diana Chala. In the finale, she took on her old teammate, Sarah Myriam Mazouz, who now competes for Gabon. She completed her perfect day with an exclamation point, once again winning by ippon.
“It was the first time I had faced off against Lidia. I had no problems managing the fight, and in the end, I was able to immobilize her. Against Diana, I was forced to give my all. I scored a waza-ari and quickly followed up with an arm-lock,” Portuondo Isasi explained.
Mazouz and the Quebecoise then went head to head for the third time in the last three weeks. After a win in Chile and a loss in Uruguay, Portuondo Isasi came out on top in the rubber match, winning on a throw.
“Since we knew each other really well, it was important to not make any mistakes. I made sure to focus on my game plan, keep a good posture, be aggressive, and to not lose control. I felt like I did a good job of managing the fight by sticking to this mindset. Even though she took the lead, I took my time and found a way to score.”
“That’s exactly what I needed! My coach wanted me to win a gold medal in one of these three tournaments before leaving. Today was my last chance and I seized it.”
Elsewhere, Alix Renaud-Roy was defeated in her very first match in the under 70 kg category. The Montréal-native lost her bout by a yuko to the Brazilian Amanda Oliveira.
Marc Deschênes claims a third place finish
On the men’s side, Marc Deschênes came away with a bronze medal in the under 100 kg class. The Quebecer scored an ippon against the American Ajax Tadehara in the bronze medal finale.
Deschênes began his day with two victories by ippon against the Uruguyan Pablo Aprahamian and the Mexican Sergio Garcia. He then succumbed to defeat versus the New Zealander Jason Koster by a yuko in the semifinals.
“It was a good day for Marc, but he shouldn’t have lost in the semifinals,” indicated Sergio Pessoa Sr., the coach responsible for the Canadian contingent in Buenos Aires.
In the under 81 kg division, the Ontarian Zachary Burt was dominant in his first match, winning by ippon over the Dominican Marcos Figuereo, before falling at the hands of the Frenchman Antoine Jeannin. In the repechage, Burt lost again, this time to the Argentinian Emmanuel Lucenti by as penalty.
“I nearly won both of the matches that I lost, and the last one had some questionable calls,” Burt said. “I’m already hungry to get back to work next week and start prepping for the Pan Am’s at the end of April!”
As for Jonah Burt, competing in the under 90 kg class, his day came to an end in the second round. After coming away with a win by ippon in his first match against the Bolivian Martin Michel, the Ontarian lost on penalties in his match against the Argentinian Cristian Schmidt.
In the same category, the Albertan Robert Edward was eliminated in his first bout, falling by an ippon to the American Thomas Capra.
Finally, Ignacio Rodriguez succumbed to defeat in his opening round match in the 100 kg division, falling to the Italian Alession Mascetti by an ippon.
Other results by Canadian judokas:
Masters tournament of Bremen (Men U-21), Bremen, Germany
Martin Rygielski (+100 kg) 2-2, 5th;
Bradley Langlois (-73 kg) 5-2, 7th;
Patrick Cantin (-73 kg) 4-2. 9th;
Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-73 kg) 3-2, 9th;
Olivier Gobeil (-73 kg) 2-1;
Dante St Prix (-66 kg) 2-2;
Mohab Elnahas (-73 kg) 2-2;
Daren Elcock (-60 kg) 1-1;
Anthony Pépin (-60 kg) 1-1;
Jasmin Boisvert (-66 kg) 1-1;
Martin Russo (-90 kg) 1-1;
Jacob Valois (-60 kg) 1-2;
Daniel Kim (-55 kg) 0-1;
Ossama Mahmood (-60 kg) 0-1;
Gabriel Juteau (-66 kg) 0-1;
Tanner Sudo (-73 kg) 0-1.
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Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada