Montreal, January 30, 2016 – It was a good day for Canadian judokas at the Arlon Open this Saturday, the under-21 day of the competition, which brought together nearly 300 athletes from 11 different countries. Ontario judoka Jessica Klimkait led Team Canada with a gold medal, while Quebecer Adriana Portuondo-Isasi climbed on to the second step of the podium.
In the Under 57 kg final, Klimkait defeated Finnish Emilie Kanerva by ippon. “Jessica had a perfect run,” rejoiced national coach Jean-Pierre Cantin.
On her way to the final, she had obliterated four opponents: German Franziska Vogl, French Carla Heyere, German Juliana Kreuter and French Sarah-Léonie Cysique. “She was impressive the entire day, and completely dominated her opponents.”
Fighting in the Under 70 kg class, Adriana Portuondo-Isasi had her only defeat in the final match, against Germany’s Giovanna Scoccimarro. “This was Adriana’s first international medal, with an excellent performance.”
To get to the final round, the La Prairie judoka overpowered Anaïs Ouamen (France), Dorine N’Tchampo (France), Shelley Ludford (Great Britain) and Marina Olarte (France). “The strategy was to take it one fight at a time and to develop a game plan for each opponent. I am proud of her; she worked well and showed great determination.”
In the Under 63 kg, Emily Burt not ranked, after a quarter-final elimination. “Emily did a great job and unfortunately a little mistake caused her the victory,” said Jean-Pierre Cantin. “The 18-year-old was leading by waza-ari when her opponent took advantage of a counterattack to score an ippon.”
Burt had won her previous three bouts. “She dominated all the other girls and beat them all by ippon. It’s been a great day for her, in spite of a heartbreaking defeat.”
Marie Besson, competing in the 52 kg, finished the day with a record of one win and three losses. “It was a tough day for Marie because she was suffering from a rib injury. She’s learned a lot and will come back stronger next time around.”
Laurence Thiffault lost two matches in the Under 48 kg qualifying round. “She lost to experienced opponents, who would go on to the final rounds at the end of the day,” explained Jean Pierre-Cantin. “One more time, lots of experience gained for the next competitions.”
The Arlon Open continues this Sunday, with the senior categories of the tournament.