Montreal, February 11, 2017 (Sportcom) – Posting three victories and two losses at the prestigious Paris Grand Slam, Antoine Bouchard finished fifth overall in the U66 kg group.
After three victories in as many bouts, the judoka from Jonquière faced off against Japan’s Hifumi Abe. Bouchard conceded victory after 2 minutes and 48 seconds of combat in the semi-final, when his Japanese opponent scored an ippon. Abe, who last year became the youngest competitor to ever win the Tokyo Grand Slam, went on to win the gold medal.
“During my first three matches I did what I had to do. I didn’t take risks and I made almost no mistakes. They were long bouts but they weren’t as difficult as I expected them to be. In the semi-final, Abe made an attack that didn’t seem dangerous at first, but then he immediately followed up with a second attack that allowed him to throw me. I was disappointed at how quickly it ended,” commented Bouchard, of Quebec.
After his defeat at the hands of his Japanese adversary, Bouchard went on to the repechage to compete for bronze. Nijat Shikhalizada of Azerbaijan dominated that match and scored two waza-ari, which gave him the victory and the bronze medal.
“I knew him quite well. I was expecting a difficult bout as far as grips and holds were concerned, but it went better than I expected and I think that was my downfall, since I became impatient and he was able to take advantage of that,” added Bouchard.
In addition to Abe and Shikhalizada, the other medallists were Russia’s Anzaur Ardanov (silver) and Georgia’s Vazha Margvelashvili (bronze).
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard Finishes Seventh
22-year-old Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard of Saint-Hubert had her work cut out for her. Her match against Brazil’s Rafaela Silva, the Olympic champion in Rio, lasted 5 minutes and 2 seconds and ended in Golden Score, or sudden-death overtime, when she received a penalty that put an end to her run in the repechage and gave the win to Silva.
Beachemin-Pinard had previously defeated France’s Laeticia Blot in her opening match and lost against Japan’s Tsukada Yoshida in the quarter-final. The Japanese competitor managed to pin her long enough to score a waza-ari.
The U57 kg podium was dominated by Korea’s Kwon You-jeong, who was able to snag the gold medal in her bout against France’s Hélène Receveaux. The two bronze medals were placed around the necks of Japan’s Tsukada Yoshida and France’s Priscilla Gneto.
The other Canadians competing in Paris on Saturday did not rank. In the men’s U73 kg category, Montreal’s Arthur Margelidon finished his day with a record of one victory and one defeat while his father, a former judoka on France’s national team, cheered him on from the stands. Bradley Langlois of Oshawa lost in his first round against Hasan Vanlioglu of Turkey.
Montreal’s Ecaterina Guica (U52 kg) and Ontario’s Jessica Klimkait (U57 kg) each hit the tatamis twice, both marking one win and one loss, while Stéfanie Tremblay of Saguenay (U63 kg) didn’t make it past her first round.
The Paris Grand Slam will continue tomorrow, where Louis Krieber-Gagnon, Zachary Burt, and Kelita Zupancic will be competing in the higher weight categories.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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