Montreal, August 11, 2013 – Ana Laura Portuondo-Isasi was the highest-ranking Canadian athlete Sunday, at the Cadet Judo World Championships in Miami, Florida. Competing in the Over 70kg class, the Quebec native finished in fifth place.
Portuondo-Isasi began her climb with two victories by Ippon against American Nadine Fiege and Algeria’s Rania Diar. In the quarter-finals, the Canadian once again used the Ippon to her advantage to beat and surpass the Ukraine’s Vasylyna Kyrychenko. “I scored a great Ippon because I used an unexpected technique. The Ukrainian judoka was heavier than I was and I took advantage of her lack of balance to attack,” recounted Portuondo-Isasi.
It was France’s Morgane Duchene who stopped 17 year-old Portuondo-Isasi in her tracks in the semi-final – where once again, the Ippon was key. “I’ve already beaten her twice, but today (Sunday), it didn’t go well. I couldn’t get my left-hand grip quite right, and she’s left-handed,” offered the Canadian.
In the bronze medal round, the Quebecois athlete faced Spain’s Sara Rodriguez; neither judoka scored points, but they did earn penalties. Portuondo-Isasi received two penalties – one more than her opponent, which gave the bout to the Spanish side. “It’s a shame, she was on the defensive and didn’t answer my attacks. I don’t know why she didn’t receive more penalties herself,” analyzed Portuondo-Isasi.
With only one additional win, Portuondo-Isasi would have been able to step onto the podium – “I’m disappointed for sure, since I did have higher expectations for today, but I made too many errors in my bouts,” she concluded. The judoka can still hold her head high when comparing her performance in this year’s Cadet Judo World Championships, versus that of 2011, when she was eliminated in her first match. “Having to repeat that again would definitely have been much worse,” she concluded.
In the women’s Under 70kg, Quebec’s Mina Coulombe lost her first match against Turkey’s Raziye Ersoy.
On the men’s tatami, British Columbia’s Sam Kim and Jeff Swadden were both eliminated in their first rounds in their respective categories. In action in the Under 90kg class, Kim suffered a defeat via Ippon against the Ukraine’s Zelym Kotsoiev, while Swadden was bested in the same manner by Romania’s Mircea Croitoru in the Over 90kg class.