Montréal, October 13th, 2012 (Sportcom) – Quebecoise Catherine Roberge won both her fights, Saturday, at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the United Arab Emirates, claiming the gold medal in the process.
Roberge, fighting in the under 78 kg class, made quick work of her first opponent, the Seychelloise Amandah Payet, beating her by ippon after just 27 seconds. In the final, Roberge (27th in the world) had a lot more work to defeat the Brit Natalie Powell, 53rd in the international judo standings.
The Quebecer forced her opponent to take two penalties at the beginning of the bout, giving her a lead by a yuko. Powell fought back to score a waza-ari, but Roberge didn’t panic. She continued to attack, once again forcing her rival to take another penalty to tie the match. With just five seconds left, Roberge was able to score an ippon to win the fight and claim the gold medal.
In the men’s under 90 kg category, Guillaume Perrault finished in 5th place after compiling a record of one win and one loss. In the first round, he disposed of the Cameroonian Marcel Ndjiki by ippon, one minute and thirty-six seconds into the fight. Perrault, currently ranked 67th in the world, then fell to the Georgian Zviad Gogotchuri, who was able to score an ippon against him at the 1 min 24 s mark of the bout. Gogotchuri eventually went on to claim the bronze.
“I’m both happy and disappointed, Perrault admitted. It’s hard to be disappointed by a 5th place finish in a Grand Prix, but the quarterfinal bout was one I could have had, but I completely froze on the winning move by my opponent.”
Few judokas made the trip to the United Arab Emirates, with only four athletes competing in Catherine Roberge’s division. “It’s a post-Olympic campaign, so it’s sort of normal, Perrault added. Most judokas save themselves for the next Olympic selection process. All we can do at the moment is improve our ranking in order to get more favorable draws in upcoming competitions.”
Short outing for Morin-Martel and Tremblay
Alexis Morin-Martel was in action, Friday, in the under 73 kg class. The 24-year-old athlete started his day with a bye in the 1st round before taking on the Japanese Takenori Nakamura, ranked 64th in the world. The latter would go on to win by ippon, eliminating Morin-Martel from the competition.
Stéfanie Tremblay (-57 kg) took to the tatamis on Thursday, and could not escape the first round, losing to Nora Gjakova of Kosovo. Despite reaching the end of the allotted five minutes, it was not enough for the Saguenay native to reach the next round.
Next week, seven Canadian judokas will take part in the Europe Cup, presented in Belgrade, Serbia.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada