Montréal, March 24, 2013 – After the under 18-year-olds took to the tatamis on Saturday, It was the under 21-year-olds who were on display, Sunday, at the Masters Tournament in Bremen, Germany. The Canadian Étienne Briand took full advantage of the situation, garnering a bronze medal in the under 73 kg category. Philippe Desjardins (-60 kg), Antoine Bouchard (-66 kg) and Nicolas di Bartolo (-60 kg) also had strong performances, placing 5th, 6th and 9th in their respective divisions.
“It’s a tournament with an enormous field, so it allows for athletes to participate in a lot of bouts. Win or lose, it’s a very useful competition for most judokas,” national coach Nicolas Gill explained.
Étienne Briand excelled on the tatamis, winning six of his seven fights. The Quebecois knocked off in successive fashion the German Tim Lauenroth, Dutchman Arjen van Dijk, German Jan Hendrik Köhler, Latvian Mihails Stenbucks and the Dutchman Thierno Balde, before losing to the Czech Jakub Jecminek in the semi-finals. In the bronze medal bout, he beat the Swede Tommy Macias to claim the coveted third spot on the podium.
“Étienne had an excellent tourney. His road to bronze was not easy, since all seven of his fights were pretty tight. He came from behind on a number of occasions, edging his opponent in the final minute,” Gill added.
By finishing 5th in his category (-60 kg), Philippe Desjardins recorded his career best performance. “He had a terrific day of competition.”
Desjardins took out the German Christopher Liepe, Frenchman Dylan Girard, Dutchman Jari Vorstenbosch and the Frenchman Yassin Dehibi to book his spot in the semi-finals, where he faced off against the Japanese Takaaki Tanaka. The latter was able to move on, winning by ippon. “It wasn’t a big surprise, since the Japanese judoka was one of the favourites to win the tournament, and in the end he did.”
The 17-year-old Quebecer would then go on to lose in the bronze medal bout, falling to the Kazakh Yerlan Zhaksyberkov. “Philippe was leading for a portion of the fight, but he made an error which was probably due to his lack of experience, and it eventually cost him in the end.”
Also in the under 60 kg category, Nicolas Di Bartolo lost his first match before coming away victorious in his two repechage bouts. He was finally eliminated in the next round, finishing 9th in the process.
After winning three times in the main table of the 66 kg class, Antoine Bouchard came up short versus the Frenchman Jeremy Moreira. The Quebecois would eventually make his way through the repechage, eliminating the German Leon Ehmig and Frenchman James Proietto, before losing to a representative of the Hexagon, Victor Vieille Marchiset.
“He won six bouts last week in Portugal, and five today. I think he’s in a good frame of mind right now, and he’ll be one to watch at the next World Junior Championships.”
Also in action on Sunday, Dequan Darran Elcock (-60 kg), Patrick Cantin (-66 kg), Arthur Margelidon (-73 kg), Tait Willey (-73 kg), Zachary Burt (-81 kg), Ian Campbell (-81 kg), Jonah Burt (-81 kg) Mohab Tawfik Elnahas (-81 kg), Brandon David Jobb (-90 kg), Marc Deschênes (-90 kg), Martin Rygielski (+100 kg) and Tarek Elmayergi (+100 kg) were unable to receive classifications.