Montreal, March 24, 2018 – Junior Canadian judokas had a good day at the European Cup in Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Fighting in the -52 kg category, Marie Besson won the gold medal. In the -48 kg category, Virginia Nemeth won the bronze.
Besson started the day by winning by ippon against Croatian Bruna Bilic in the preliminary round. She continued on to the semi-final, where she fought against Turk Habibe Vardar, whom she defeated by waza-ari. In the final, the athlete from Montreal was against Serb Nadezda Petrovic, and scored an ippon after a short 46 seconds, awarding her the gold medal.
“I’m really relieved, and I still can’t believe it!” said Besson.
“It was a rough day and a rough week. I had trouble finding my motivation after my 5th place last week, because I was really disappointed. We did a training camp this week, and I worked very hard during each training. My parents and my coaches encouraged me a lot, it helped, and I wanted to make it up for last week. It was my motivation for today (Saturday), and it went really well. I won everything!” she added.
After winning her only fight in the preliminary round, against Turk Zeliha Cinci, Nemeth was defeated in the semi-final against Serb Andrea Stojadinov. She bounced back quickly, immediately winning her next fight by ippon for the third place against another Turk athlete, Ozge Andic.
“Virginia had a good day with her 3 fights. She did well in the first one, but she had trouble managing the pressure in the second one. In the final for third place, she came in strong and was able to take control of the fight. She was able to tire out her opponent, and she scored an ippon. She was very focused today (Saturday), and she finished strong,” said national coach Jean-Pierre Cantin.
On the boys’ side, Hakim Chala (-60 kg), and Jacob Valois (-66 kg) both finished in 5th position in their own categories.
Chala had 1 victory and 1 loss in the qualifying round, and ended up in repechage. He quickly won his 2 fights in repechage, but was defeated in the bronze medal fight against Russian Danila Kurtashov.
“Last week was harder on Hakin, but today (Saturday), he had some good fights and strong ippons. He has improved a lot during the training camp. He now needs more experience in Europe-as we say, to have to fight the best to become the best,” commented Jean-Pierre Cantin.
Valois eliminated Croatian Lovre Vidakovic and Moldovan Vadim Zaharia in his preliminary fights. He then was defeated in the semi-final against Moldovan Catalin Marian, and once against in the bronze medal fight against Montenegrin Marko Gusic.
“Jacob had a nice competition. He was injured last week, and he had to opt out before the end of the tournament, but he tried again today. His injury came back and impaired him, mostly in the bronze medal fight, but he showed a lot of courage, and he was very focused,” explained the coach.
After winning a silver medal in Portugal last week, Camélia Pitsilis (-57 kg) finished in 7th place this week. The athlete from Longueil was defeated during her first fight, against Croatian Lara Cvjetko. She went on to repechage, where she won by waza-ari against Austrian Olivia Taroncher. Her day ended during her second round in repechage, when she was eliminated by Polish Anna Dabrowska.
Mitchell Markwat (-66 kg) and Sava Antic (-73 kg) both had 1 victory and 1 loss.
Sasha Zigic (-57 kg), Dontae De Jesus (-60 kg) and Solomon Choran (-73 kg) were eliminated in the first round.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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