Montréal, December 1st, 2013 – The Canadian judoka Kyle Reyes didn’t pass under the radar, Sunday, on the 3rd day of competition at the Tokyo Grand Slam in Japan. The only Canadian in action did his country proud, claiming the silver medal in the under 100 kg class.
Reyes, who just three weeks ago became the first Canadian junior world champion in the history of judo, proved that he was ready to do the same at the senior level, defeating three top-10 ranked opponents. “Considering that he’s just 20-year-old, it was an amazing performance by Kyle today,” national coach Nicolas Gill explained. “He won four really impressive bouts.”
The judoka got his day started with back-to-back wins by ippon over the Brazilian Rafael Buzacarini, 21st in the world, and the 41st ranked South Korean Kyeongtal Kim.
In the quarterfinals, Reyes kept his run going by eliminating the Frenchman Cyrille Maret, 5th best judoka in the world. “Kyle was trailing by a waza-ari when he took charge and scored an ippon,” Nicolas Gill pointed out.
in the semifinals, up against the 2009 world champion, Kazakh Maxim Rakov, Reyes held on to win a very tight battle, eventually winning by a yuko.
Reyes was finally defeated by the Czech Lukas Krpalek, the only misstep for the Canadian in Tokyo. Facing off against the 3rd ranked judoka in the gold medal final, Reyes fell by a yuko. “Krpalek is one of the best in the world at the moment, and Kyle barely lost a very close fight,” underlined Gill, who has been extremely happy with the progression of his protégé. “He’s had a fantastic start to his career.”
Reyes and his Canadian teammates Stéfanie Tremblay, Dmitri Kim and Étienne Briand will be back in action next Thursday and Friday, at the Jeju Grand Prix in South Korea.