Montreal, July 2, 2016 – This Saturday, Canada added even more medals to its collection, with three silvers and four bronzes at the Pan American Junior Championships in Cordoba, Argentina, and a silver and a bronze at the San Salvador Pan American Open.
“I am very happy with our athletes’ performances today,” said coach Jean-Pierre Cantin. “They fought with a lot a grit.”
“Of course, there’s still a lot to do before the 2017 World Championships,” he added. “This competition was just a starting point in our preparation, and it was a great start at that. I see a promising future ahead!”
The country’s women’s representatives had an excellent day, with all four competing athletes making podium in their respective weight classes.
Marie Besson walked away with the Under 52 kg silver medal. After winning every one of her matches on her way to the finals, the Montrealer was caught by surprise by Brazilian Layana Colman in the fight for the gold.
Emily Burt, from Ontario (Under 63 kg), and Adriana Portuondo-Isasi, from La Prairie (Under 70 kg), also succumbed to Brazilians in their final matches. Burt lost by ippon to Yanka Pascolino, while Portuondo-Isasi was defeated by Sarah Nascimento, with three penalties against two.
Also competing in the Under 70 kg, Ontario’s Allayah Copeland won her first two bouts of the day, but was shown the door in the semi-finals by the athlete who would go on to win the tournament. But she still had one more ippon in her, and she bounced back in her fight for the bronze.
Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Gabriel Juteau (Under 66 kg), François Gauthier Drapeau (Under 73 kg) and Kevin Gauthier (Over 100 kg) all made it to the third step of the podium.
After losing his semi-final match to Brazil’s Daniel Carguin, Gabriel Juteau was ready to fight for the bronze. He then beat Chile’s Javier Vargas and got his hands on a medal for third place.
Asbestos athlete Kevin Gauthier yielded to Ecuador’s Jahao Velasco in the Over 100kg semi-finals. In the fight for a bronze medal, he locked horns with Chile’s Cristofer Orellana, and won with an ippon.
François Gauthier Drapeau, from Almas, was defeated by Colombian Arkangel Barboza in the semi-finals. He then fought another Colombian, Juan Tello, for a bronze medal, and came out on top this time around.
In the Under 81 kg, both Dawson Mandel and Maxime Côté contended for a bronze medal, but weren’t able to prevail against their opponents and finished the competition in fifth place.
Aidan Skaf (Under 66 kg), Vincent Miran (Under 60 kg) and Alex Marineau (Under 73 kg) all came in seventh. Benjamin Daviau (Under 60 kg) didn’t get past his first match of the day.
Silver and Bronze for Poklitar and Langlois
The San Salvador Pan American Open was also quite fruitful for Canadian judo, with the two athletes on the mat making podium finishes.
Montrealer Gueorgui Poklitar made it to the second place in the Under 66 kg. After a bye from the opening round, he won the semi-finals against Salvadorian Gustavo Lopez Aguilera. He was then kept from the gold medal by Belgian Thomas Lissens.
Bradley Langlois, from Ontario, bowed to Brazilian Eduardo Barbosa in the Under 73 kg semi-finals. He then yielded to Ecuadorian Erick Ayabaca in the fight for the bronze.
Marc Deschênes (Under 100 kg) will be the only Maple Leafer on the mat in San Salvador this Sunday.