Montreal, October 18, 2018 – The Canadian team offered a good performance on Wednesday and Thursday at the Veteran’s Judo World Championships in Cancun, in Mexico. Veterans are divided in 10 age categories—M1 to M10 for men, F1 to F10 for women—ranging from 30 to 79 years old with a 5-year increment between each category (M1 = 30-34, M2 = 35-39, M3 = 40-44, etc.).
The best result on the first two days was achieved by Ralph Ibanez, former provincial coach in Saskatchewan, who competes in the M9 -66 kg category. He won the gold medal after a perfect day, defeating successively American Humberto Valdivia by waza-ari, Italian Giovanni Battaglia by waza-ari, and French Yves Sempe by ippon.
The other Canadian medallists so far were Ronald Angus (M7 -100 kg) and Patrick Lam (M3 -60 kg), who respectively won a silver and a bronze medal. Angus won both his fights in the preliminary rounds, against French Guy Lelorieux and Argentinian Romualdo Javier Couzo. His only defeat was in the finale against Serbian Slavko Sikiric, who defeated him by ippon after only 21 seconds. Lam won his first-round bout against Spanish Roberto Martin Martinez, but then lost consecutively against Russian Kostantin Butenin and Azerbaijani Babak Hajiyev.
Other notable performances were Daniel Bird (M7 -90 kg) and Jeff Allen (M1 +100 kg) who ranked in 5th place, Renato Bernardo (M6 -60 kg) in 7th place, and Frédéric Bourque (M3 -81 kg) and Luc Dubé (M3 -100 kg) in 9th place.
“It’s interesting to see former competitive judokas like Ronald Angus or Carline Young return to their roots. Ralph Ibanez truly offered an outstanding performance today, he truly is in an incredible shape. So far, we can proudly say that Canada is well represented and our athletes are there to win,” commented Patrick Esparbès, COO of Judo Canada.
Christopher Smiley (M3 -90 kg), Nourine Benyoucef (M3 -73 kg), Naili Khaled (M3 -100 kg), Luke Harris (M3 -100 kg) and David Bailey (M6 -66 kg) also represented Canada, but didn’t get a ranking.
Many judokas will still step on the mats to represent Canada until the end of the tournament on Saturday.
Written by Sarah Mailhot for Judo Canada
Chief Operating Officer