Montreal, February 19, 2016 (Sportcom) – The Canadian judokas would have liked to last longer on the Düsseldorf Grand Prix tatamis this Friday, in Germany. Ecaterina Guica (Under 52 kg) and Antoine Bouchard (Under 66 kg) finished the day with a 1-1 log, placing them in ninth. The other Maple Leafer competing this Friday, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (Under 57 kg) was defeated in her only match of the day.
Guica started out the competition beating Germany’s Nieke Nordmeyer by ippon. In her next bout, she came up short against Turkmenistan’s Gulbadam Babamuratova, who would go on to snatch the gold medal.
Competing in the Under 66 kg class, Antoine Bouchard started the tournament on the right foot, with a victory over Belgian Kenneth Van Gansbeke, but then was defeated by Japanese Kengo Takaichi.
“I managed the first fight well, by taking the lead with penalties and then maintaining the pressure to keep my lead without taking too many risks,” he said.
When pitted against Takaichi, who was last year’s Düsseldorf champion, the Saguenay athlete believed that the victory was in his reach. “He was pretty strong, but it was a good fight for me. My style of judo was perfect to counter his, and if I had been better at seizing the opportunities, I could have gotten more points.”
Thinking back on his match, Bouchard believes he missed some major opportunities to beat his opponent, who was often on his knees. “I chose to feign an attack instead of going all out and throwing him.”
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard suffered her defeat at the hands of British Nekoda Smythe Davis, who would eventually win a bronze medal.
Davis has been giving the St-Hubert athlete quite a bit of trouble over the past few tournaments. This Friday’s match was decided by a single penalty towards the middle of the bout.
“I was in overhand for too long and got penalized. That was my only sequence in the whole fight that wasn’t so good, and if I had pushed David off the surface, the shido (penalty) would have gone to her. Other than that, I fought better than in my other fight against her. I know how to beat her; all I have to do is stick to my plan from the beginning to the end of the fight. Today (Friday), I just didn’t manage to catch up with her.”
Stéfanie Tremblay (Under 63 kg), Kelita Zupancic (Under 70 kg), Patrick Gagné (Under 73 kg), Arthur Margelidon (Under 73 kg) and Antoine Valois-Fortier (Under 81 kg) will be representing Canada in the competition this Saturday.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada