Montreal, June 28, 2015 – It was Canadian against Canadian in the fight for the gold in the Under 70 kg at the Pan American Open of San Salvador, in El Salvador this Sunday, when Alix Renaud-Roy defeated Kelita Zupanzic. Three Canadians also brought home bronze medals: Zachary Burt and Louis Krieber-Gagnon in the Under 81 kg class, and Ignacio Rodriguez in the Over 100 kg class.
The match between Renaud-Roy, 38th in the world, and Zupancic, 4th, went the distance and ended when a single penalty was awarded, with 90 seconds left on the clock.
“I’m happy I beat Kelita,” said the La Pocatière athlete. “A shido gave me the victory, but I think it could have gone either way. Still, I managed to stay ahead until the end.”
“What a formidable opponent! She really is the athlete to beat. It’s the first time I’ve beaten her, and I couldn’t be happier.”
After being exempted from the opening round, Renaud-Roy scored an ippon in her first match, against American Samantha Bleier. It was penalties that won the semi-final, against Ecuador’s Vanessa Chala.
“It wasn’t my first time up against them,” said the Quebecoise. “With the American, I managed the bout much better than last time. And I knew that against the Ecuadorian, the decision would hinge on the shidos and that it was going to be a very physical fight.”
Zupancic, from Whitby, Ontario, was also exempted from the opening round. She went on to win by ippon against American Chantal Wright, and by yuko in the semi-final against Monica Burgess.
In one of the fights for the bronze, Burgess, from Waterloo, Ontario, lost by ippon to Mexico’s Andrea Poo, and had to content herself with fifth place.
Bronze, three times over
In the Under 81 kg class, both Zachary Burt and Louis Krieber-Gagnon seized their chance for the bronze.
Burt, from Oshawa, benefited from an exemption out of the first round, lost by penalties to Slovenia’s Aljaz Sedej, and then won his next two matches by ippon, against Uruguay’s Alain Aprahamian and El Salvador’s Juan Diego Turcios.
None of Krieber-Gagnon’s matches went the distance. The Montreal native beat Chilean Rodrigo Idro, then lost to Argentinian Emmanuel Lucenti. He went on to defeat Porto Rican Gadiel Miranda and Mexican German Ayala.
Ignacio Rodriguez stepped onto the tatami twice, and each time the bout ended in ippon. The West Vancouver native lost to Freddy Figueroa, and won against Johao Velasco.
The other Canadian judokas on duty on Sunday in El Salvador lost their fights for the bronze and ranked fifth.
Catherine Roberge (Under 78 kg), from Beauport, lost to Chile’s Jacqueline Usnayo by penalties; Jonah Burt (Under 90 kg), from Oshawa, lost to British Andrew Burns by ippon; and Marc Deschênes (Under 100 kg), from Laval, was also defeated by ippon against American Akbarzhan Iminov.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada