Hakim Chala in Gold at the Bremen International Masters

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Hakim Chala (middle left)

Montreal, March 24, 2019 – Hakim Chala will be leaving Germany with a gold medal around his neck. The Canadian judoka scored 6 victories in just as many fights, allowing him to stand on the highest step of the podium in -60 kg on Sunday at the Bremen International Masters.

Chala faced Brazilian Renan Torres in the final. “Torres was a bronze medallist at the World Championship, but I went in without thinking about him and his results. I simply wanted to give my 100% and try everything I could to throw him and win the fight,” said Chala.

In the semifinal, he had defeated Netherlander Victor van Gerven. Earlier, he had won four consecutive fights against Netherlander Oskar Kasteel, German Niklas Rempel, Portuguese Emerson Silva and Brazilian Matheus Takaki.

A better result would have been hard to get for Chala after he won all his fights by ippon.

“I had no problem throwing my opponents today. Unlike last week, I didn’t think too much,” explained the gold medallist. “I took my fights one at a time, and I think that’s what helped my judo.”

His coach, Jean-Pierre Cantin, was very proud of him after the tournament.

“He gave a great performance. You know it’s a big category when you need to win 6 fights to win a tournament,” he said. “You can’t take anything lightly. Fatigue builds throughout the day, and small mistakes can cost you the victory.”

Even though Chala was the only Canadian to get a ranking, Jean-Pierre Cantin considers that Julien Frascadore (-66 kg) and Daniel Chosak-Barkay (-73 kg) deserved better, each one having won 3 fights in their respective categories. “There are so many athletes that their performances didn’t even get a raking. In most tournaments, they would have both been in repechage or fighting for a medal with three victories,” explained Cantin.

In -66 kg, Frascadore’s category, 77 athletes were registered at the tournament. In -73 kg, they were 75.

Altogether, a gold medal will boost Hakim Chala’s confidence for the next tournaments. “This was a development tournament, but it gives me the opportunity to fix some mistakes and get ready for the Senior Pan American Championships, where the level will be higher,” he said. The event will take place at the end of April in Lima, in Peru.

Several Canadians were in action today in Bremen. The complete results are available here:


Other Canadian results
Tylor Collin                 Junior U21 -55 kg         0 victories, 2 losses
Anthony Henry            Junior U21 -60 kg         1 victory, 1 loss
Braden Dixon              Junior U21 -60 kg         0 victories, 2 losses
Simon Paquet             Junior U21 -60 kg         0 victories, 1 loss
Daniel McCristal          Junior U21 -60 kg         0 victories, 1 loss
Julien Frascadore       Junior U21 -66 kg         3 victories, 1 loss
Dontae De Jesus         Junior U21 -66 kg         2 victories, 1 loss
Mitchell Markwat         Junior U21 -66 kg         2 victories, 1 loss
Koen Heitman             Junior U21 -66 kg         0 victories, 1 loss
Yanis Hachemi            Junior U21 -66 kg         0 victories, 1 loss
Finn Schroder             Junior U21 -66 kg         0 victories, 1 loss
Daniel Chosak-Barkay Junior U21 -73 kg        3 victories, 1 loss
Max Teeuwen              Junior U21 -73 kg         2 victories, 1 loss
James Lonsdale          Junior U21 -73 kg         0 victories, 1 loss
Daniel Maman             Junior U21 -73 kg         0 victories, 1 loss
McKenzie Morgan        Junior U21 -81 kg         1 victory, 1 loss
Alexandre Arencibia   Junior U21 -81 kg         1 victories, 1 loss
Solomon Choran         Junior U21 -81 kg         1 victory, 1 loss
Payton Harris              Junior U21 -81 kg         0 victory, 2 losses
Yohan Chouinard        Junior U21 -100 kg       0 victories, 1 loss


A Bronze Medal for Mohab El Nahas

Canadian judoka Mohab El Nahas won a bronze medal in the -90 kg category on Sunday at the Santiago Pan American Open, in Chile. He was able to defeat French Antoine Lamour during the bronze-medal bout.

Mohab El Nahas first defeated American Christopher Moulton and French Nicolas Homo to win his pool. He then lost against Yuta Galarreta Villar, sending him in repechage. El Nahas came back by winning against Lamour to deserve a spot on the podium.

It was the second medal won by Canadian athletes during the weekend. On Saturday, Bradley Langlois had also won a bronze medal in the -73 category.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operating Officer
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