Montréal, April 26, 2015 – Canada’s Women’s Team were crowned Pan American Champions, while the Men’s Team earned the bronze, Sunday evening in team competitions at the Pan American Judo Championships in Edmonton.
“The women’s performance was exceptional, fantastic,” enthused National Team Coach and High Performance Director Nicolas Gill.
“It was an emotional moment because this was the last tournament that Jérémy Le Bris will coach the women’s team; this is certainly a wonderful way for him to end his time with Judo Canada.”
In the finals, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (57 kg), Ecaterina Guica (52 kg), Jessica Klimkait (57 kg), Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi (Over 70 kg), Alix Renaud-Roy (70 kg) and Stéfanie Tremblay (63 kg) beat Team Brazil 3-2.
“Things got off to a rough start with two losses in the first two matches,” recounted Gill. “Then Stéfanie won a bout, then Alix did as well, and we were on our way.”
“It then became a match between Ana Laura and current World Champion and Brazilian judoka Mayra Aguilar. Aguilar took an early lead, but with only four seconds to spare Ana Laura scored a point and earned Canada the victory.”
Having earned a pass out of the opening round, earlier in the day Canada’s Women’s Team first dispatched Team Mexico 4-1, before moving on to defeat Team Cuba 3-2 in the semi-finals.
“The win against Team Cuba was a bit of a surprise – we took a very early lead 3-0 with some great wins by Ecaterina, Catherine, and Stéfanie,” commented Coach Gill. “Today they beat women they’d never beaten before – I’m betting that was likely a strong motivator for the final round.”
Team Ecuador and Team Argentina both took home bronze medals.
Canada’s Men’s Team also benefited from an exemption out of the opening round, and went on to beat Team Argentina 4-1 before being defeated themselves by Team Brazil 5-0 in the semi-final.
“The Team Brazil men are incredibly strong – one of the best in the world,” stated Coach Gill. “We knew that they would be hard to beat so we let younger team members get the chance to compete against them.”
Antoine Bouchard (66 kg), Étienne Briand (73 kg), Jonah Burt (90 kg), Zachary Burt (81 kg), Marc Deschênes (Over 90 kg), Patrick Gagné (66 kg), Arthur Margelidon (73 kg), Martin Rygielski (Over 90 kg) and Antoine Valois-Fortier (81 kg) took on Team Dominican Republic and won 5-0 in one of two bronze medal finals.
In the finals, Team Brazil beat Team Cuban with a punishing 5-0 score, while the other bronze medal was won by Team Argentina.
“The Men’s Team performed as we thought they might; on the whole they did a great job for sure,” confirmed Coach Gill.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada