Montreal, December 2, 2018 – François Gauthier-Drapeau proved he had a good capacity to adapt on Sunday during the Hong Kong Asian Open. Because of an injury to his right knee, the judoka, fighting in ‑81 kg, had to change his game plan during his last bout of the day, and he stood on the third step of the podium.
During the bronze-medal bout, the Montrealer won by ippon against Chinese Zhang Zhiyuan. During his first season as a senior, Gauthier-Drapeau won a second medal in as many tournaments.
“It’s the fight I’m most proud of. I’ve had this injury for a few weeks, and I had to miss a few tournaments in Quebec. I started feeling the pain again during the last few days of training in Japan. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to fight this weekend. I would have liked to win the gold medal, but with the circumstances, bronze is good!”
Earlier in the day, the 20-year-old won by ippon after only 29 seconds against Indonesian Christopher George Gerard in repechage. He also had a record of one victory and one loss in the preliminary rounds.
Also fighting in this category, Alexandre Arencibia ranked in 7th place. He lost in repechage against Australian Eoin Coughlan, who won by ippon and will be going home with a bronze medal. The Montrealer scored one victory and one loss in the preliminary round.
Coulombe, Andres, and Gauthier Barely Miss the Podium
Mina Coulombe (-78 kg) couldn’t defeat her opponent, Thai Ikumi Oeda, during her bronze-medal bout. Her opponent won by ippon, placing Coulombe in 5th place. The judoka, from Baie-Comeau, went straight through the finale when her opponent in repechage, South Korean Jung Naeun, didn’t show up on the mat because of an injury. During her first fight, Coulombe lost against Japanese Nami Ito, who went on to win the title.
In the +100 kg category, both Canadians ranked in 5th place after losing by ippon their bronze-medal fights against Mongolian athletes. Joe Casey Andres, from Alberta, was eliminated by Tsetsentsengel Odkhuu, and Kevin Gauthier, from Asbestos, lost against Tuvshinbayar Naidan. Both also scored one victory and one loss in the preliminaries.
In -90 kg, Ontarians Luka Khatelishvili and Benjamin Kendrick didn’t get a ranking.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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