Montreal, March 19, 2016 – Canada won two medals in Germany this Saturday. At the U18 Masters tournament in Breme, Keagan Young snatched the Under 50 kg gold. Meanwhile at the women’s competition in Thuringia, Jessica Klimkait carved a place for herself on the second step of the podium.
Keagan Young showed dominance throughout the day, with six consecutive victories – four by ippon and two by yuko. In the first rounds, Germany’s Konstantin Weinmann and Lennart Slamberger and Switzerland’s Julian Bersnak didn’t stand a chance against him. In the semi-final, the Ontario athlete disposed of his first Dutch opponent Jesse Reede, while the second, Daan Moes, succumbed to him in the final match.
“Keagan really dominated his opponents today,” said coach Jean-Pierre Cantin. “What’s more impressive is that he was born in 2001, which means he’s U16 in Canada. He’s even younger than the official category. His potential is extraordinary!”
Hard Times in the Repechage
Shaim Paret (Under 55 kg) won his first match, against Dutch Jeremy Sismono, and then lost to German Chris Lammers. In repechage, he was eliminated from the competition by Belgian Lars Verstraeten.
In the Under 73 kg, Benjamin Kendrick started out his day with a string of three wins. In his fourth bout, he was defeated by Dutch Ziggy Horsten, and then he lost again in repechage, this time to Swedish William Rittfeldt.
Also competing were Sava Antic (Under 73 kg) and Andrew Vienneau (Over 90 kg), both eliminated after the second round. Aidos Saperov (Under 50 kg) and Adam Thomson (Under 66 kg) both got to the third round before being bowing out. Julien Frascadore (Under 60 kg) was shown the door after his fourth match, against France’s Nicolas Biffot.
“I’m happy with what I saw today, and it’s very encouraging for the future,” said Jean-Pierre Cantin. “Tomorrow, some of our U18s are fighting in the U21, to gain experience before heading on to the training camp.”
On Sunday, the U21 men will be hitting the mat in Breme.
International Thuringia Cup
The Canadian U18 and U21 women were also in Germany, but in the city of Thuringia. Jessica Klimkait, competing in the U21, won every single one of her Under 57 kg matches by ippon before losing in the final combat and walking away with a silver medal around her neck.
After a bye in the opening round, she beat Germany’s Agatha Schmidt and France’s Sarah Léonie Cysique and Véronique Mandeng before losing the finals by waza-ari to Japan’s Miho Tanigawa.
“Jessica dominated her opponents in the preliminary matches, showing great class and outstanding submission techniques,” said coach Ewan Beaton. “In the final, she was scored on with a very unusual technique in the first 20 seconds of the match, and could not find solutions to the Japanese defense.”
“It was still a good day for Jessica, but she wanted to win the competition, so in the end, she is disappointed that she could not finish the day at the top of the podium.”
Emily Burt was the second Canadian to go the furthest in the women’s U21 competition. The Oshawa judoka came in fifth in the Under 63 kg class, after winning her first three preliminary matches and then losing to Dutch Sanne Vermeer. In repechage, she encountered three opponents before coming up short against Japanese Suzu Iino.
Maple Leafers Laurence Thiffault (Under 48 kg), Lavana Laass (Under 63 kg), Adriana Portuondo-Isasi (Under 70 kg) and Keira Trotter (Under 70 kg) were eliminated in the first round of the competition. Marie Besson (Under 52 kg) and Mina Coulombe (Under 78 kg) made it to the second round before surrendering.
Bellali and Rygielski in the Top Seven
On the women’s U18 side, Yumi Amal Bellali (Under 52 kg) finished fifth in her weight class, after losing her fourth match to Japan’s Uta Abe. In repechage, Bellali yielded to Germany’s Sarah Sachse.
Natalie Rygielski came in seventh in the Under 57 kg. Although her preliminary round left quite a bit to be desired, she bounced back in repechage and won two matches before bowing out to Belgium’s Anouk Maekelberg.
Alicia Fiandor (Under 63 kg) and Sarah Perks (Over 70 kg) were eliminated after one match. Alexandra Gagnon (Under 57 kg) and Ariane Lévesque (Under 70 kg) were driven out after two matches, and Taeya Koliaska (Under 48 kg) lost her third bout, against Japanese Aika Mizoguchi.