Montréal, March 20th, 2015 – The Canadian contingent got off to a great start this weekend in Argentina, coming away with four medals, Saturday, at the Pan-American Open presented in Buenos Aires. Antoine Bouchard won a gold medal in convincing fashion while Arthur Margelidon was also impressive in his silver medal performance. Stéfanie Tremblay and Ecaterina Guica also claimed medals, both winning a bronze in their respective weight classes.
In the under 66 kg class, Bouchard, hailing from the Saguenay region, took charge of the gold medal finale against the Brit Nathon Burns. He began his day with two wins in the preliminary round before taking down the Spaniard Gar Uriarte by an ippon in the semifinals.
“That victory in particular was very satisfying,” Bouchard exclaimed. “I faced off against the Spaniard last week in Uruguay in the bronze medal match. It was a fight I should have won but I came up short. In the semifinals today it was his turn to dominate the bout, but he ended up getting disqualified because of an illegal reversal.”
“Sometimes the judges give you calls and other times it can go against you. I’m really happy with my gold medal win today. It lets me forget about my last so-so performance,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Patrick Gagné of Baie-Comeau succumbed to defeat in his first bout in the prelims, falling to the Brazilian Gabriel Pinheiro. Gueorgui Poklitar suffered the same fate as his compatriot, losing to Nathon Burns. The Brit would progress all the way to the gold medal finale, where he lost to Antoine Bouchard.
The Montrealer Arthur Margelidon also excelled on the day, coming away with a silver medal in the -73 kg class. In the grand finale against the Brazilian Eduardo Barbosa, the Quebecois judoka lost by the slimmest of margins, losing on penalties, 2 to 1.
“Everything went well up until the finale,” Margelidon commented. “I took a penalty early on that I deserved, but then I received another that I was really confused by, since we were doing the exact same thing. I felt like I wasn’t at all dominated, but he managed to stop me from attacking throughout the entire fight.”
“I’m satisfied with my outing, especially after my last two tournaments which really did not go very well,” he added.
As for Sept-Îles-native Étienne Briand, he would settle for a 5th place finish in the under 73 kg division, after losing by an ippon in the battle for 3rd place versus the Puerto Rican Augusto Miranda. David Ancor saw his tourney come to an end after being eliminated in his second preliminary bout.
“The Puerto Rican started strong,” Étienne Briand indicated. “I took two consecutive penalties, and was unable to manage a response. By trying to be too offensive, I wasn’t able to string together effective attacks. It was definitely a bout to forget.”
Youssef Youssef (-60 kg) made it all the way to the repechage, where he took on the Peruvian Juan Postigos. The judoka from Toronto lost the match on penalties, three to two, and finished the competition with a 7th place classification.
On the women’s side, the Saguenay-native Stéfanie Tremblay (-63 kg) had to go through the backdoor in order to win the bronze medal against the Mexican Andrea Gutierrez. She finished the prelims with a record of 1-1, and followed that up with a win in the repechage over the American Leilani Akiyama. As for Béatrice Valois-Fortier, she succumbed to defeat in her first match.
“I’m extremely pleased with my performance today!” Tremblay said. “I started strong with a win against an Argentinian in the first round. I then struggled to make good attacks versus the Brazilian, and ended up losing that bout on penalties. Against the American, I was able to come out on top in spite of the fact that one of the judges was really bad.”
“The Mexican that I took on in the bronze medal finale had previously beaten me for gold in Chile. Today I scored a yuko before taking her down in an arm lock. I’m really happy to have gotten my revenge!”
Ecaterina Guica (-52 kg) had a similar outing as that of her teammate, as she also came away with a bronze medal, defeating the Brit Louise Renicks in the bronze medal finale. The Montrealer also finished with a record of 1-1 in the prelims. In the repechage, she took on the Turk Kubra Tekneci, who she defeated by ippon.
Other results for Canadian judokas on Saturday:
U18 (men) in Bremen, Germany
Malcolm Pelletier (-46 kg), 1-1.
Zacharie Cheng-Boivin (-50 kg), 0-1.
Daniel Kim (-55 kg), 0-1.
Ossama Mahmoud (-60 kg), 0-1.
Jacob Valois (-60 kg), 1-1.
Benjamin Kendrick (-73 kg), 3-2, 9th.
Tanner Sudo (-81 kg), 3-2, 9th
Shady Elnahas (-90 kg), 4-1, silver medal.
Martin Russo (-90 kg), 0-1.
U18 (women) in Thuringia, Germany
Virginia Nemeth (-44 kg), 0-2.
Marie Besson (-48 kg), 2-2, 7th.
Yumi Bellali (-52 kg), 3-2, 5th.
Brette Poliakiwski (-52 kg), 0-2.
Natalie Rygielski (-57 kg), 1-2.
Hanako Kuno (-63 kg), 1-1.
Allayah Copeland (-70 kg), 1-2.
Emily Witherow (-70 kg), 0-2.
U21 (women), Thuringia, Germany
Mackenzie Burt (-57 kg), 1-2.
Emily Burt (-63 kg), 0-1.
Jaquina Simao (-63 kg), 0-2.
Mina Coulombe (-78 kg), 0-1.
Megan Hanks (-78 kg), 0-1.