Montreal, February 7, 2016 – Ontario judoka Kyle Reyes made it to the second step of the podium in the Under 100 kg class in the Paris Grand Slam this Sunday. He is the only athlete in the Canadian delegation to bring back a medal from the prestigious competition.
The Brampton athlete, ranked 31st in the world, had quite the busy day, with five victories out of six matches. He won his opening bout, against English Benjamin Fletcher, 29th, by ippon.
Reyes then beat French Clement Delvert, 68th, by waza-ari and yuko. In his third bout, against Egyptian Ramadan Darwish, seventh in the world, he scored an ippon.
Confident and in control, he continued his winning streak and won his last preliminary match, against German Karl-Richard Frey, fourth, with a waza-ari. The semi-finals pitted him against Japan’s Aaron Wolf, 30th, and Reyes came out on top with a yuko.
He ran out of luck in the fight for the gold medal. Up against France’s Cyrille Maret, fifth, Reyes lost by ippon and waza-ari.
Zupancic in the Top Five
Whitby, Ontario judoka Kelita Zupancic, sixth, had a good day in the Under 70 kg class of the Paris Grand Slam.
After a bye from the opening round, she won her first two matches: the first one by yuko, over France’s Margaux Pinot, 31st, and the second one by ippon, over English Sally Conway, seventh.
In the semi-finals, she succumbed to South Korean Sengyeon Kim, 15th, with two penalties against her opponent’s one.
Her last match of the day was the clash for one of the bronze medals. Up against French Gevrise Emane, fifth, she unfortunately lost by waza-ari and ended up coming in fifth. Seongyeon Kim (South Korea) took home the gold, Haruka Tachimoto (Japan) won the silver, and Sally Conway (England) and Gevrise Emane snatched the bronze medals. Fanny Estelle Posvite (France) came in fifth alongside Zupancic.
“It was good preparation for this summer’s Olympic Games,” said the Canadian. “I’m up against the world’s best. There are no easy fights at this level. I always aim for the gold.”
Antoine Valois-Fortier was eliminated after his first match in the Under 81 kg. The Beauport, QC, judoka, third in the world, lost to South Korean Ki-Chun Wang, 20th, with two penalties against Wang’s one.