Montreal, February 22, 2014 – Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard finished in seventh place in the Under 57kg class, while Antoine Valois-Fortier reached ninth place in the Under 81kg class this weekend at the Düsseldorf Judo Grand Prix in Germany.
Friday, Beauchemin-Pinard – currently ranked 66th internationally – won her first bouts via Ippon, first besting Germany’s Emily Dotzler, then surpassing Hungary’s Hedvig Karakas, the latter of which is ranked 22nd internationally and finished fifth at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In the quarter finals, the Quebec native and World Junior Judo silver medallist in the Under 57kg class saw defeat at the hands of Brazil’s Ketleyn Quadros (6th internationally), who won with a Yuko. Quadros was a quality competitor for Beauchemin-Pinard, given that the Brazilian was bronze medallist at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and also won a Grand Slam last year.
“I lost by Shido and by the end, I opened up a little too much. She scored a Yuko by countering one of my moves,” explained the disappointed Quebecois athlete of her duel that lasted a mere four minutes.
In overtime, the pride of Saint Hubert Quebec sadly experienced another defeat against American athlete Hana Carmichael, ranked 25th internationally.
“I was pretty upset because I dominated that bout almost the entire time, and took her in a Judogi. It was going well and I only made one false move.
Carmichael ended the competition with a defeat herself; Russia’s Irina Zabludina and Brazil’s Quadros each ended up with bronze medals. In the finals, Olympic Champion in Title, Japan’s Kaori Matsumoto bested Mongolia’s Sumiya Dorjsuren, who had to settle for silver.
In her first round of competitions at the Senior level, Beauchemin-Pinard will return to Canada after a series of three tournaments over two weeks. Eliminated at the Paris Grand Slam, she scored one victory and one defeat at the European Open in Rome.
“I’m not hugely upset, but I am a bit disappointed. However, matches are always tight and I am getting better,” commented a thoughtful Beauchemin-Pinard. She’ll step back onto the tatami next month at the PanAmerican Opens in Montevido, Uruguay, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A Heartbreaking Defeat
Saturday, Antoine Valois-Fortier – Canada’s sole male competitor at the Düsseldorf Grand Prix – won his first bout in the Under 81kg class, prior to seeing defeat himself in the round of sixteen.
Receiving a pass into the first round, the Bronze medallist from the London 2012 Olympic Games easily bettered Mongolia’s Tsagaanbaatar Khashbaatar via Ippon, the latter currently ranked fourth in the world and the 2013 Paris Grand Slam Champion in the Under 73kg category.
The Quebec native who is currently ranked in eighth place internationally, nevertheless saw his day come to a halt when faced with Russia’s Sirazhudin Magomedov (30th internationally), the latter of whom won via Yuko.
“This defeat is a heartbreaker for me,” lamented Valois-Fortier. “He’s a skilled competitor, a two-time European champion who’s beaten me in the past, so I knew it would be a tough match. He scored within the first 15 or 20 seconds, and then I tried to catch-up from then on. I succeeded in giving him three penalties, but the fourth just didn’t work out,” he analyzed.
In the finals, American Travis Stevens got the better of Germany’s Sven Maresch (silver medal), while double bronze medals went to the Republic of Uzbekistan’s Shukhratjon Arslanov and Germany’s Alexander Wieczerzak.
Fifth at the Paris Grand Slam, then subsequent silver medallist at the Oberwart European Open, Valois-Fortier finished this round of European competition much like teammate Beauchemin-Pinard – feeling as though they had experienced a rather intense period.
“I’m happy enough with my European tour – looking at the whole thing from the beginning. I offered up solid performances each time, it’s just a shame that results didn’t follow me today. On the upside, I believe I’ve proven that I’m one of the top ten competitors in my weight class,” Valois-Fortier concluded.
Antoine Valois-Fortier’s next match will be at the PanAmerican Championships at the end of April 2014, in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada