Montreal, August 26, 2015 – After earning silver in the Junior World Championships of 2013 and bronze in 2014, Canadian judoka Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard came very close to adding a medal to her collection on Wednesday, at the Senior World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan. She eventually succumbed in overtime in the Under 57kg bronze match, and finished the competition in fifth place.
“Catherine put on one of the best performances in Canadian women’s judo history, and came in fifth after a few superb victories,” said national head coach Nicolas Gill. “She has proven today that she belongs in the world’s elite, which is an excellent omen now, with the Rio Olympic Games under a year away.”
“On the one hand, I’m really happy,” said Beauchemin-Pinard. “Fifth in the world is a fantastic result, especially with the talent I was up against. But at the same time, I was so close to medalling… The day started out great, but didn’t end like I wish it would.”
Fighting for a place on the third step of the podium, Beauchemin-Pinard, 11th in the world, and Mongolia’s Sumiya Dorjsuren, 3rd in the world, had a close match from beginning to end.
“It was the first time I’d fought her, but we got to watch her before, so we developed a strategy to curb her dangerous attacks,” said Beauchemin-Pinard.
By the time there was under a minute left on the clock, neither athletes had managed to score, but the Quebec judoka was on the lead, having taken only one shido, against her opponent’s two.
But Beauchemin-Pinard eventually took another penalty, and the match had to go to overtime. After 1 minute and 42 seconds of overtime, she took yet another penalty, and the victory went to Dorjsuren.
“I was less on the attack than her, so I got penalized for passivity,” said the Maple Leafer.
The Saint-Hubert athlete had locked horns with the world’s best-ranked judoka, Romanian Corina Caprioru, earlier in the competition. When the semi-final combat reached the end of its four minutes of regular time, Beauchemin-Pinard was lagging behind by a waza-ari and had to admit defeat.
“She’s a bit of a nemesis to me,” admitted the Canadian judoka. “I’ve been up against her a few times and I can’t seem to find a way to beat her. I have got to keep working on it.”
In the previous rounds, the 21-year-old disposed of four opponents in four matches.
“I am happy with these four victories. They were not exactly the easiest of matches!”
French Hélène Receveaux, 13th in the world, was her first victim. Next on her hit list was Brazilian Rafaela Silva, world champion in 2013 and currently 4th in the world. Then came German Viola Waechter’s turn, followed by American Marti Malloy, 20th and 5th respectively.
The Rio Olympic Games qualifying process is not yet over, and Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard’s fifth place just boosted her chances of getting her name on a ticket. “It shows I deserve a spot in Rio,” she said.
It also had an impact on the judoka’s self-confidence. “Today, I proved that I’m a worthy opponent, and that I can beat them all,” she rejoiced. “I just have to be able to put on this kind of performance when I need it most.”
Also on Wednesday, but on the men’s side, Arthur Margelidon, ranked 27th in the world, was stopped in the third round by world’s second-best-ranking Under 73kg judoka, Israel’s Sagi Muki.
Before that, the Montrealer had won his first two bouts by ippon, against Palestinian Wesan Abu Rmilah, 312nd, and Sweden Tommy Macias, 60th.
In the same weight class, Étienne Briand, 38th, was eliminated in the second round. After being exempted from the opening round, he was shown the way out by Brazil’s Marcelo Contini, 40th.
On Thursday, Stéfanie Tremblay (Under 63kg) and Antoine Valois-Fortier (Under 81kg) will have their turn on the World Champs mat.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada