Montréal, September 11th, 2013 – Team Canada judokas Sergio Pessoa and Patrick Gagné came away with gold and silver medals in their respective categories, Wednesday, at the Francophonie Games being presented in Nice, France.
Competing in the under 60 kg division, Sergio Pessoa took on the Lebanese Ziade Damian in his first bout. The Quebecer came out on top, scoring two waza-aris in the win.
In his second contest, Pessoa made quick work of the Swiss judoka, Rota Valentin. “The Swiss had beaten him earlier in the year at a tourney in Estonia as Sergio was making his way back from an injury. He lost that particular fight with just five seconds left in regulation. This time around, Sergio took him out with an ippon at the two minute mark of the bout,” Coach Jeremy Le Bris explained.
In the gold medal match, Pessoa defeated the Frenchman Mohamedi Kamel by ippon. “The Frenchman had the size advantage, but Sergio made good of use his speed, technique and quick reflexes to win the bout. He was also patient with his grappling,” Le Bris added.
Competing for Team Quebec, Nicolas Di Bartelo finished 5th in the same division, compiling a record of two wins and two losses.
In the under 66 kg category, Patrick Gagné cruised through his first three bouts. His first contest saw him take out the Nigerian Ousman Bassouma by scoring an ippon in the first minute of play. In his second bout, it took only few seconds for Gagné to beat Cedric Bessi of Monaco by an ippon.
Gagné then went on to beat his compatriot Antoine Bouchard of Team Quebec, also by ippon. Once again, the Team Canada representative claimed the victory after a one minute fight.
Vincent Vallée would eventually bring the Quebecer back to earth. The Frenchman won the final by scoring two waza-aris.
As for Antoine Bouchard, he would bow out of the competition with a record of two wins and two losses, good for 5th position.
On the women’s side, Ecaterina Guica finished 5th in the under 52 kg class, registering one win and two losses.
The Quebecoise got off to a slow start, losing in the quarterfinals to eventual silver medalist, the Romanian Cristiana Matei. After winning her bout in the repechage, Guica lost in the bronze medal match to the Wallonian Nica Antonis.
The action will continue in Nice on Thursday. Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (- 57 kg), Kelita Zupancic (- 70 kg), Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi (- 78 kg), Alexis Morin-Martel (- 73 kg) and Antoine Valois-Fortier (- 81 kg) will be the ones to watch for Team Canada.
Team Quebec will be represented by Stéfanie Tremblay (-57 kg), Alix Renaud-Roy (-70 kg), Étienne Briand (-73 kg) and Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-81 kg).