Montreal, February 15, 2020 – Canadian judokas Étienne Briand and Louis Krieber-Gagnon barely missed the podium at the Oberwart European Open, in Austria, on Sunday. Both Canadians were defeated during their respective bronze-medal contests.
In -81 kg, Hungarian Benedek Toth kept Étienne Briand off the podium.
“It was a training competition, because he’ll be fighting next week in the Dusseldorf Grand Slam, so our goal was to fight and to be strategic,” explained national team coach Jean-Pierre Cantin about Étienne Briand. “A medal would have been nice, obviously, but the most important part was to analyze the performance, which went great, and to work on a few things to be ready for Dusseldorf.”
Nineteenth on the world ranking, Étienne Briand started the day off by defeating Spaniard Alvaro Caminero Sastre by waza-ari, then Italian Massimiliano Carollo and French Ibrahim Keita by ippon. He was defeated in the semifinal by Austrian Wachid Borchashvili, 32nd on the world ranking, after getting three penalties.
Krieber-Gagnon is Back
In -90 kg, Louis Krieber-Gagnon was also only one victory away from the podium.
After being defeated by ippon by Hungarian Apor Toth in repechage, Krieber-Gagnon faced French Paul Livolsi in a bronze-medal contest. He lost by ippon after each opponent got a penalty.
Louis Krieber-Gagnon had previously defeated Raphael Schwendinger, from Liechtenstein, and Alikhan Tcechoe, from Russia. One loss against British Jamal Petgrave sent him into repechage.
“It’s a good comeback on the international scene for Louis, because he hadn’t fought outside of Canada since the Montreal Grand Prix. He performed well, and it’s promising for the rest of the European tour. He was aggressive and seized opportunities to score,” commented Jean-Pierre Cantin.
Cadet European Cup: Similar Day for Munkhjin Batdorj
The best performance from the Canadian team at the Cadet European Cup in Fuengirola, in Spain, was from Munkhjin Batdorj, who ranked in fifth in -73 kg.
“It’s not the day we were hoping for. We thought we’d win at least one medal,” said coach Sergio Pessoa.
Batdorj (Laval, Quebec) started strong with three victories in a row in the preliminary rounds. He was then defeated twice, first in the semifinal against French Aristide Onana, then in the bronze-medal contest against Polish Oskar Rogalski.
Batdorj and Onana had a tough fight and had to go into overtime. “The French was stronger and taller, and it made the difference during a very close fight,” said the Canadian coach.
The Quebecois tried to win the bronze-medal bout, but his opponent scored and won after 1 minute and 43 seconds. “Munkhjin was still tired from his semifinal, and the Polish was more dynamic.”
“As soon as his physical aspect gets better, Munkhjin will be able to perform better, because his technique is very good,” added Pessoa.
In -90 kg, Amr Abd Elrehim had to stop earlier than planned. After getting hit on the head, he was showing signs of a concussion and preventively forfeited in repechage.
The other members of the Canadian team, Meadow Macdonald (-57 kg), Nouran Abd Elrehim (-57 kg), Callie Render (-63 kg), Justine Simard (-63 kg), Thomas Sparkes (-73 kg), Yuriy Semenyuk (-73 kg), Carter Althouse (-73 kg), and Nikola Petrovic (-81 kg), didn’t get a ranking.
“Athletes have to gain experience and work on their weaknesses. That’s what we’ll be working on back in Canada,” explained Sergio Pessoa.
The Canadian team will be flying back home on Monday.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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