Montreal, February 12, 2012 – Judoka Antoine Valois-Fortier was able to earn his first medal in a European World Cup – a silver – Sunday in Oberwart, Austria, in the 81kg class.
“I’ve won a few World Cup medals previously, but this is the first time I’ve won one in Europe. In Judo, European world cups are known to have the most competitive fields, so I’m very happy with my silver,” commented Valois-Fortier, who is currently ranked 28th in the world.
The Quebec native had a tiring day, having to win no less than five bouts, each lasting five regulation minutes in order to reach the finals in the Under 81kg weight class. “There were so many judokas! No match was easy, either. Each one was challenge; sadly I wasn’t able to win my very last match, but I’m nonetheless happy with my day,” he said.
The 21 year old Canadian was taken by surprise in the final, by the Democratic Republic of Georgia’s
Levan Tsiklauri (ranked 50th), who scored in ippon. “I found myself in an odd, unfamiliar position. We started upright, he brought me the ground, and finished it off with an immediate armlock. The upright starting position was what surprised me,” analyzed Valois-Fortier.
Valois-Fortier was regardless pleased with his performance today, which enabled him to earn valuable points towards a berth for London 2012 Olympic Games. “I already have a lot of points, possibly enough points. So far as I know, today’s silver will put me in the top 22 which is what’s required to qualify.” Prior to the Oberwart Judo World Cup, Valois-Fortier was provisionally ranked 20th in his weight class; he could climb the rankings further at the upcoming Düsseldorf Grand Prix in Germany next weekend, or at the PanAmerican Championships in April.
Also competing in the Under 81kg category Sunday, Quebec’s Kalem Kachur was unable to achieve a ranking due to his being eliminated in his second match.
Budapest Judo World Cup
Quebec athletes Catherine Roberge and Marylise Lévesque were busy on the tatami themselves at the Budapest World Cup in Hungary in the Under 78kg category.
Roberge earned herself a fifth place finish, as a result of her three victories and two defeats; Lévesque was shut out after her second duel.
“It was a really great day; it’s been a while since I’ve been able to take part in multiple bouts in a single day. I had a good draw and I had some solid performances,” commented Roberge – currently ranked 29th in the world. Despite her contentment, the Canadian was disappointed to have lost her momentum, losing in the quarter final against Japan’s Tomomi Okamura – ranked 18th internationally. “I made a tiny mistake and she was able to take advantage of that immediately. I lost control of the fight, but I lost by yuko.” Roberge then won in the repechage but was consequently bested by Hungary’s Abigel Joo who is fifth in the world in the sport.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada