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Montreal, July 16, 2017 – At Sunday’s Junior European Judo Cup in Paks Hungary, four Canadian judokas graced the podium: Emily Burt glittered in gold, Hanako Kuno and François Gauthier-Drapeau were spectacular in silver, and Adriana Portuondo Isasi was bold in bronze.  

Emily Burt and Hanako Kuno managed a Canuck one-two finish in the U63 kg category, after each judoka had a perfect day. The teammates faced each other in the final round, where Burt quickly got the better of Kuno with an ippon.

On her way to the finals, Emily Burt defeated her rivals in the first three preliminary round matches, then took on and bested Denmark’s Laerke Olsen with an ippon in the semi-final.

Kuno also arrived in the finals with a record of three wins and no losses. In the semi-final, she scored a winning waza-ari against Georgian Mzia Beboshvili in overtime.

Janika Michel (U63 kg) was also on the tatami today, and was sadly eliminated after her second bout;  Anne Martin lost her first match and was thus unable to continue further.

Adriana Portuondo-Isasi (U70 kg) was pleased to earn a bronze medal in her weight class. The Quebecois athlete earned two victories in the preliminaries, but was defeated by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Aleksandra Samardzic in the semi-finals. Not content to end her day there, the Canadian then rallied back and won against Germany’s Sophie Brendicke with a waza-ari in the bronze medal final.

Maria Carla Chirila (U70 kg) finished in ninth place.

In the U78 kg class, Allayah Copeland faced defeat by ippon in the bronze medal final, thanks to Hungarian judoka Fanni Toth. Copeland would eventually finish in fifth place; she won her first two preliminary round duels, one against Austria’s Melanie Niederdorfer and another against Italy’s Claudia Cerutti via ippon. Another Italian – Ilaria Qualizza – cut Copeland’s day short in the semi-finals with a win via waza-ari; Copeland was sent to the repechage.

Keira Trotter earned seventh place, while Shianne Gronen was unable to achieve a final ranking.

Sarah Perks (+78 kg) reached seventh place.

In Men’s judo, François Gauthier-Drapeau (U73 kg) stepped up the second place on the podium for a silver medal. He won his first three matches with waza-aris, first dispatching Moldovan Victor Sterpu, then moving on to Poland’s Jedrzej Stecki, and Britain’s Eric Ham. In the semi-finals, the Canuck got the better of Switzerland’s Naim Matt with a well-timed ippon, but was then himself defeated in the final by Slovakia’s Martin Hojak.

Bogdan Jora (U60 kg), Vincent Miran (U60 kg), Gabriel Juteau (U66 kg), Jacob Valois (U66 kg), Daniel Chosack-Barkay (U66 kg) did not achieve rankings.

“I’m really happy with today’s medals, and with this weekend overall, ” commented on-site Coach Jean-Pierre Cantin. ” We earned seven medals total and had eleven athletes in the top seven. It was a fantastic learning experience for everyone. Win or lose each match is important; this tournament is just one of many steps these judokas will take.”

The Junior Canadian Team is preparing for a rendez vous at the World Championships this October. “In the end, whether we come home with medals or not, everyone will be back on the tatami training tomorrow, ” he concluded.

Suffering in Saarbrücken

At the European Judo Cup in Saarbrücken, Germany, Team Canada experienced a dreary day, as no members of the team were able to reach the podium.

In Women’s competitions, only Mina Colombe and Ana Laura Portuondo-Isasi were on the tatami Sunday. Coulombe was defeated in her third match of the preliminaries and wound up in the repechage. She beat Germany’s Lea Folkerts and Britain’s Sally Moon, but simply could not get by Russian judoka Niurguiana Nikiforova in the bronze medal final, and had to leave empty-handed but in fifth place.

Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi was unable to earn a ranking after she was ousted in her first match today.

Canadian men weren’t able to do much better: the three highest-ranking men all earned ninth place.

In the U90 kg category, Louis Krieber-Gagnon and Zachary Burt were both eliminated in the repechage and finished the tournament in ninth place – the same ranking as Marc Deschênes, who was competing in the U100 kg class.

Jean-François Ouellet (+100 kg) was eliminated after his first bout.


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