Montréal, February 1, 2014 (Sportcom) — Quebecers Alexis Morin-Martel and Étienne Briand took home silver and bronze medals, respectively, Saturday, at the tournament presented in Visé, Belgium. After a grueling day saw each Canadian take to the tatamis upwards up seven times, the dynamic duo walked away with two of the four podium spots available in the under 73 kg class.
“I came back from near death in the second round against the German Julian Kolein. I was losing by three yukos and I managed to force four penalties, giving me just enough points to win the bout in the last minute of regulation,“ Alexis Morin-Martel explained. “I’m disappointed to have lost in the finale, but at that point it was my sixth match of the day and I’d really run out of gas.”
As for bronze medalist Étienne Briand, he felt like he deserved a better fate. “I was robbed in the quarterfinals. I should have beaten the German Thilo Koch; he wasn’t as good as me. Unfortunately, the judges didn’t see it that way,” he pointed out. “That said, a third place finish isn’t so bad,” the 20-year-old athlete concluded.
The -73 kg category was a hot ticket for the Canadians at The Visé Open, a tourney featuring men’s judo, exclusively. Besides picking up the two medals, Quebecer Arthur Margelidon delivered a strong performance, finishing 5th. He ended his day with a record of four wins and two losses, including one versus his teammate Étienne Briand.
Only Michael Fortin-Demers, also from Québec, failed to receive a classification, after finishing his tourney with a record of 2-2. His first defeat came at the hands of the eventual gold medalist in his category, the Belgian Sami Chouchi.
The British Columbian Brandon Jobb also had a decent showing, finishing 7th in the under 90 kg division with a mark of three wins and two losses.
Women’s judo in Arlon
150 kilometers south of Visé in Arlon, also in Belgium, the Canadian women’s judo team took part in an U-20 tournament. The Quebecoise Sophie Vaillancourt was the best of the lot, walking away with a bronze medal in the under 78 kg class. She finished the day with two wins but succumbed to defeat against the Frenchwoman Marine Erb.
“My last bout came against the winner of the competition, Marine Erb. She pinned me using the same maneuver I had previously won with in a fight against another Frenchwoman, Océane Picard,” Sophie said.
In the under 63 kg category, Béatrice Valois-Fortier finished in 5th place, winning three of five contests. “I battled hard against some pretty tough opponents, and felt I generally controlled those fights. Obviously I’m disappointed with a 3rd place finish, but overall I’m fairly happy with the improvements I’ve made,” the judoka added.
British Columbian Alicia Briggs finished her day with a 9th place classification in the under 52 kg class. After beating the Frenchwoman Marino Lucille, she fell in her final two bouts against Anaël Pannetier (FRA) and Ines Beischmidt (GER).
The other Canadians in action in Visé did not receive a classification. They included Nicolas DiBartolo (0-1), Charles Breton-Leduc (1-1) in the under 60 kg class and Ignacio Rogriguez (0-1), at +100 kg. On the women’s side, Jessica Klimkait (2-1), Jaquina Simao (3-0), Monika Burgess (1-0) and Ana-Laura Portuondo-Isasi (1-1) went home empty-handed in their respective category.
Tomorrow, Antoine Bouchard, Patrick Gagné, Alister Ward and Jonah Burt will all be in action in Visé. In Arlon, the senior lady judokas will take their turn on the tatamis. Canadians Ecatérina Guica, Alicia Briggs, Stéfanie Tremblay, Jessica Klimkait, Béatrice Valois-Fortier, Jaquina Simao, Monika Burgess, Alix Renaud-Roy, Catherine Roberge, Ana-Laura Portuondo-Isasi, Sarah Mazouz and Sophie Vaillancourt will all be in action.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada