Montréal, December 6th, 2013 – After climbing to the second step of the podium at the Japan Grand Slam last week, Canadian judoka Kyle Reyes took home a 5th place finish at the Jeju Grand Prix, Friday, in South Korea.
Fighting in the under 100 kg division, Reyes, currently 108th in the world, got his day started with a win over the Korean Young-Hun Kim, followed by a triumph over the Ukrainian Dmytro Luchyn.
The 20-year-old athlete would unfortunately fall in the semifinals, losing to the 26th ranked Mongol, Tuvshinbayar Naidan. The 2008 Olympic champion and 2012 Games runner-up defeated him with an ippon. “It’s a real positive experience for Kyle to have taken on a judoka like this,” coach Nicolas Gill pointed out.
In his battle for the bronze medal, the Quebecois lost a close bout versus the Swede Martin Pacek, 12th best judoka in the international standings. “Kyle came very close to winning a medal. He lost on penalties, two shidos to one,” Gill added.
Along the way to his silver medal performance last week in Japan, Reyes took down, notably, two top-10 judokas. “Kyle was a bit less explosive today compared to last week, and that’s what seemed to make the difference,” Gill noted.
Briand, Kim and Tremblay eliminated in the first round
Also in action in Jeju, Étienne Briand, Dmitri Kim, and Stéfanie Tremblay all lost their opening round bouts in their respective categories, Thursday, and subsequently did not receive a classification.
“Our three other young judokas all lost their opening matches, but at this point in the Olympic cycle, all we’re looking for is to see some progression from them, so they’re ready for the Olympic selection process,” Nicolas Gill mentioned.
In the under 73 kg class, the Quebecois Étienne Briand, 73rd in the world, was shown the door by the Greek Georgios Azoidis, who took him out with a waza-ari.
In the under 60 kg category, the British Columbian Dmitri Kim was eliminated by the Korean In Hyuk Choi, also by a waza-ari.
On the women’s side, the Quebecoise Stéfanie Tremblay, 29th best judoka in the under 57 kg division, succumbed to defeat in her bout with the Korean Yoomi Cha. “It’s been a disappointing Asian tour for me and I have a lot of things to work on,” the 23-year-old athlete mentioned, after also losing her first round bout at the Tokyo Grand Slam.