Montréal, April 29th, 2012 – The Canadians won the silver medal, Sunday, in the team competition at the Pan-American Judo Championships, presented this weekend at the McConnell Arena in Montréal.
By finishing in the top-2, the Canadian men’s national team qualified for the World Team Championships, an event to be presented one year from now in Brazil.
“Judo Canada might not send a team down, but if they decide to, it’s nice to know we got the job done,” Guillaume Perreault explained.
Perreault had to fight in the +90 kg class, despite normally competing in the under 90 kg category. “Nicolas (Gill), coach of the national team, wanted to make sure I saw some action. I really enjoyed the experience. Judo is an individual sport, so to know that you can still win even if you lose your bout, that takes a lot of the pressure off.”
Perreault, Michael Fortin-Demers (-66 kg), Dylaver Sheykhislyamov (-90 kg), Justin Imagawa (-73 kg), Kalem Kachur (-81 kg) et Nedjo Sarenac (+90 kg) united forces to defeat the Dominican Republic, Chile and Mexico. Only the Cuban national squad were able to get the better of the Canadians.
Ladies squad finishes in third
On the women’s side, the Canadians were unable to qualify for next year’s World Team Championships, but nonetheless put on a good show in winning the bronze medal.
Audrée Francis-Méthot (-52 kg), Nicole Jenicek (-57 kg), Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-63 kg), Alix Renaud-Roy (-70 kg), Yacinthan Nguyen-Huu (-70 kg) et Sophie Vaillancourt (+78 kg) beat the Mexicans, but subsequently fell to the gold medal winning Cubans and Colombians.
The highlight of the fights was without a doubt the victory by Beauchemin-Pinard over the Cuban Yaritza Abel Rojas, who won the individual competition on Friday, and presently sits 14th in the overall standings.
“Unlike other nations, we decided to go with a younger contingent of judokas instead of our first choice veterans, Gill indicated. It was a way of giving our young up-and-comers some much needed experience, especially since they’ll all be a big part of the Olympic qualification process in 2016.”
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada