Montreal, April 29, 2016 – Arthur Margelidon was crowned PanAmerican Under 73 kg champion this Friday at the continental championships in Havana. In his final match of the day, the Montrealer triumphed over Brazil’s Alex William Pombo da Silva with an ippon.
The first day of the Championships saw five other Canadians climb onto the podium. Ecaterina Guica (Under 52 kg), Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (Under 57 kg) and Sergio Pessoa (Under 60 kg) all earned silver medals, while Stéfanie Tremblay (Under 63 kg) and Antoine Bouchard (Under 66 kg) each walked away with a bronze.
Margelidon, last year’s PanAm bronze medallist, defeated American Nicholas Delpopolo in the semi-finals. Earlier in the day, he had disposed of Mexico’s Samuel Ayala and fellow Canadian David Ancor, who ended the competition in fifth place.
“This is one of the greatest results in my career,” said Margelidon, who has all but ensured his spot at the Olympic Games with this performance. “The final was closely contested, and I took the first penalty, for a mistake I made going into the match. Then I got him to take a penalty, and after that I threw him to win the fight.”
“The PanAmerican Championships are a crucial step in the Olympic qualifying process, which is wrapping up on May 30,” said Nicolas Gill, Canadian coach. “Arthur put on an exceptional performance,” he added about his protégé’s latest victory, over the 2014 and 2015 PanAm gold medallist.
“With this gold medal, he is one step closer to the world’s Top 8, which would place him among the top seeds for Rio.”
In a month from now, Margelidon will be competing in a tournament in Guadalajara, in a bid to work his way further up the world ranking.
Meanwhile in the Under 60 kg, Sergio Pessoa made it all the way to the final, but couldn’t get past Brazilian Felipe Kitadai, who hasn’t lost a match in a PanAmerican Championship since 2013.
“Sergio’s silver puts him in an excellent position for a potential second Olympic experience, after the London Games,” said the national coach. “We don’t have a definitive list of qualified athletes yet, but the picture is getting clearer.”
Ecaterina Guica (Under 52 kg) and Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (Under 57 kg) also came close to bringing home the gold. Guica was defeated in the final match by an ippon at the hands of Brazilian Erika Miranda. In the semi-finals, she had served an ippon of her own to American Angelica Delgado.
Beauchemin-Pinard, from Saint-Hubert, lost the fight for the gold to American Marti Malloy. Whitby, Ontario’s Jessica Klimkait finished fifth in the same weight class. After losing the semi-final to the judoka who would eventually go on to win the gold, she succumbed to Brazil’s Rafaela Silva in a tight match for a bronze medal.
In the semi-finals, Saguenay athlete Stéfanie Tremblay (Under 63 kg) lost to Brazil’s Mariana Silva, who eventually went home with the gold. Tremblay, however, bounced back beautifully in the fight for one of the bronze medals, when she took out Hannah Martin (U.S.) by ippon.
Antoine Bouchard, defending Under 66 kg champion, lost his semi-final bout by waza-ari to Mexican Eduardo Araujo. The Saguenay athlete then found his way back onto the winning track in his match against Argentina’s Fernando Gonzales, which lifted him onto the third step of the podium.
Erin Morgan (Under 48 kg), from Calgary, did not rank in the competition after losing her first match by ippon to Brazilian Nathalia Brigida.
On Saturday, Alix Renaud-Roy (Under 70 kg), Kelita Zupancic (Under 70 kg), Mina Coulombe (Under 78 kg), Catherine Roberge (Under 78 kg), Antoine Valois-Fortier (Under 81 kg), Marc Deschênes (Under 100 kg), Kyle Reyes (Under 100 kg) and Kevin Gauthier (Over 100 kg) will be the judokas representing Canada in the competition.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada