Montreal, May 30, 2015 (Sportcom) – Quebec judoka Étienne Briand is leaving Romania with a bronze medal around his neck. He beat France’s Guillaume Chaine in the fight for the third place, at the European Open in Cluj Napoca, on Saturday.
“The day was off to a difficult start, but after repechage, things started to look up for me,” said the Sept-Îles native. “In the match for the bronze, I was up against Chaine, who I think is a great athlete, a very physical judoka. I had already lost to him this year, just after Christmas. And as always, this fight was intense from the very start. He managed to get me to take two penalties, but then he slowed down a bit. Eventually I got him to take four penalties and I won.”
“This has been such a high-level tournament, so of course I’m pleased with the bronze,” said Briand. “But because I want the points to qualify for the Olympics, I always aim to get to the finals. In terms of performance, I am very happy, especially because we didn’t have a coach today, so I had to motivate myself and come up with my own strategies for the matches. I’ve learned a lot from this experience.”
Earlier in the day, he beat Armando Mollosmani, from Albania, and Karel Musil, from Czech Republic. Then in the match against Dutch judoka Sam Van T Westende, ranked 66th in the world, Briand was penalized for stepping outside of the main mat. In repechage, he made good use of penalties to defeat French Julien La Rocca.
“In my first fight, I threw my opponent five times without scoring an ippon,” said the athlete. “It’s one of the first times that has ever happened to me. I was exhausted after so much throwing. I won my second match, but I can’t say I performed to the best of my ability. I got penalized three times.”
“The Dutchman got me in a kind of violent sequence,” said the judoka, ranked 38th in the world. “He punched me in the face and we fell to the ground. I ended up falling in such a position that allowed him to hold me down. It was a bit disappointing. I thought I could win the match, but he was faster than me.”
David Ancor, 85th in the world, also competed on Saturday in the Under 73kg class. He kicked off his day with a victory by penalties over Romanian Elemer Szocs, but he was then defeated by ippon in his next match, against Guillaume Chaine.
“It was a tough fight against Chaine,” said the Montrealer. “On another day, the fight would have been different, but today, the defeat put an end to my day. I am hungry for victory and I will perform better in Minsk next weekend!”
By Sportcom for Judo Canada