Montreal, July 20, 2019 – After winning five medals in the cadet category the day before, Canadian judokas were back on the mats on Saturday in Cali, in Columbia, for the Junior Pan American Championships. The Canadian squad added four more medals to their collection.
After winning a bronze on Friday, Brae Booth kept her momentum going and won a silver in -70 kg. After getting a bye through in the first round, the Canadian defeated Peruvian Francis Aguirre Godos and Chilean Mackarenna Figueroa by ippon, and got into the finale.
Booth was then defeated by waza-ari after a long fight in which details made all the difference.
“Brae started off slowly, and her opponent had the upper hand. However, as time passed, Brae started to dominate, and she really could have won. Sadly, she made a mistake, and the Peruvian took advantage of it. Despite the result, it was a great performance for her,” commented coach Alexandre Émond.
In -90 kg, Arm Abd Elrehim also won a second medal in two days. After losing his first bout against American Issei Barefoot, the eventual gold medallist, the Ontarian bounced back and won both his fights by ippon in repechage, against Arturo Campos, from Mexico, and Juan Diaz, from Columbia.
Bothered by a foot injury, Abd Elrehim concluded a demanding day by winning by ippon once again, this time against Venezuelan Ramses Anselmi in the bronze-medal contest.
“It wasn’t easy! He was injured, and at one point, I wasn’t sure he would keep going. He decided to keep fighting, despite being in pain. He was brave and definitely deserves his medal,” added Émond.
Amélie Grenier (-52 kg) also bounced back after a difficult day on Friday. After ranking in 7th place in the cadet category, she won her first two fights and got into the semi-final, where she lost against the eventual winner, Mexican Paulina Martinez.
Grenier did better in her bronze-medal bout, where she won by ippon against Columbian Nayerly Pajoy.
“It was a nice surprise! She had a difficult day yesterday (Friday), and she dominated today. She even defeated a girl against whom she had lost yesterday. She worked hard and didn’t give her opponent any chance in the bronze-medal fight,” said Émond.
The last Canadian medal of the day was won by Asia Douglas who, 24 hours after winning a silver medal as a cadet, competed in +78 kg. She had a score of one victory and one loss, like her two opponents, Brazilian Luiza Cruz and Columbian Laura Castillo.
Judges needed a tie-breaker to determine the winners, which, as explained by Émond, disadvantaged Douglas.
“All three competitors had the same score, and when that happens, we have to use the duration of the fights. Asia had defeated the gold medallist, but she also took the longest to win her bout, so she’s leaving with a bronze medal.”
Daniel McCristall (-60 kg) was the only other Canadian to get a ranking. He won 2 out of 4 bouts, and ranked in 7th place.
Klavdia Danilkov (-48 kg) won her first fight, but was defeated on the next two.
Finally, Kiera Westlake (-57 kg), Maximus Litzenberger (-60 kg), David Popovici (-66 kg), Emil Schenk (-73 kg), Koen Heitman (-73 kg), and Owen Macumber (-90 kg) didn’t score a victory and were eliminated before getting a ranking.
Chala 9th in Prague
Fighting in the -60 category, Hakim Chala was the only Canadian to get a ranking on Saturday on the first day of the Junior European Cup in Prague, in the Czech Republic. His day was cut short in repechage when Austrian Daniel Leutgeb defeated him by ippon. Chala scored 2 victories and 1 loss in the preliminary rounds.
“Hakim competed at the Canada Cup, but was injured there, and he didn’t compete at the Grand Prix to recover. He fought very well here. I’m not disappointed with his performance, even though we would always want more,” commented coach Jean-Pierre Cantin.
Daniel Chosack-Barkay (-73 kg) was eliminated in his second fight in repechage when Romanian Adrian Sulca scored a waza-ari. He had previously defeated German Vincent Wieneke by ippon in repechage, after scoring one victory and one loss in the preliminaries.
“Daniel was injured. He hasn’t competed at Nationals, and he came back for the Canada Cup. He had a good tournament here, and we’re hoping for more next week in Berlin,” said Cantin.
In the -66 kg category, Mitchell Markwat was eliminated by ippon by Azerbaijani Nariman Mirzayev, and Julien Frascadore won his first match, but was then eliminated by waza-ari by Finnish Turpal Djoukaev.
On the women’s team, all three athletes were eliminated by ippon. In -63 kg, Isabelle Harris was defeated by Slovene Zarja Tavcar, who ranked in 7th place, and Camelia Pitsilis was eliminated by Austrian Sarah Wolfgang. In +78 kg, Coralie Godbout was eliminated by Slovene Andreja Tomazic, who ranked in 7th place.
“It was a very strong tournament, even stronger than last year, with many athletes for Eastern Europe. Isabelle and Coralie are in their first junior year, and they are gaining experience. In general, it was good, and we are getting ready for tomorrow. It’s the beginning of the European tour, and it’s often more difficult in the first competitions, before we have to get used to their style,” added the coach.
More Canadians will be in action on Sunday, when the champions of the seven remaining categories will be crowned.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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