Montreal, August 10, 2016 – Kyle Reyes’s first Olympic experience came to an end after a single match, against two-time Olympic medallist and three-time World Champion, Henk Grol. Two minutes forty-four seconds into the bout, Grol, from the Netherlands, scored a kosoto-gake for an ippon to eliminate the Ontario judoka.
“I tried a new move,” said the 22-year-old, first and only Canadian to ever win a World Junior Championship. “I train in Japan, and this move always works great against the Japanese. Grol is pretty strong, and I thought this new move would be the perfect strategy to throw him. But he was more powerful than I thought, and my new move didn’t really work on him.”
Reyes was admittedly very nervous when he stepped onto the Arena Carioca mat in Rio, and wasn’t able to impose his pace onto his opponent in the Under 100 kg class. However, he does not attribute his defeat to a lack of experience.
“In the other divisions, the less experienced competitors got pretty far into the competition, and I expected to be able to do the same,” he revealed.
No more than 50 seconds into the match, Reyes received a shido for a false attack. 21 seconds later, Grol scored a kouchi-gari for a yuko. The Dutchman then brought the match to a close with an ippon.
Kyle Reyes is already looking back on his performance with a view to find elements to improve. “I really feel like I have to get physically stronger. I also have to train in places other than Japan from now on, so I can acquire more experience in the other kinds of judo throughout the world.”
“It has been a great honour to represent Canada,” he added. “I wanted to win, I wanted a medal for Canada, but today wasn’t my day. Maybe next time.”
The day’s medallists, in the Under 100 kg division are:
Gold: Lukas Krpalek, Czech Republic
Silver: Elmar Gasinov, Azerbaijan
Bronze: Cyrille Maret, France
Bronze: Ryunosuke Haga, Japan
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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