Montreal, February 17, 2019 – The European Open hosted in Rome, in Italy, ended on Sunday. Even though none of the Canadian judokas in action got a ranking, national team coach Jean-Pierre Cantin was very satisfied with the progress of his team.
“It was a good tour in general. They are gaining experience. Our boys are still young; they usually perform on the international scene around 26-27 years old, and Kevin Gauthier is only 21. They need time to develop. We’re here to learn.”
Gauthier (+100 kg) was defeated by the future gold medal winner, Ukrainian Fedir Panko. His opponent won by ippon. Cantin explained the Asbestos-native was unlucky with a very strong opponent in draw.
“He couldn’t attack like he wanted because of a hand injury. There are some wear and tear on his joints because of the numerous fights and lack of sleep of the last month, but I don’t think it’s serious. Kevin did well, but Panko surprised him twice. It was a decisive victory against a respectable opponent.”
The coach added that Gauthier fought a lot in the last weeks and was very strong during the Paris training camp. “He had a great tour, that’s all we needed. He had a chance to see how he compared to the best judokas in the world and to work on his weaknesses. I’m very proud of him.”
Mohab El Nahas (-90 kg) had a score of one victory and one loss. The Ontarian started the day off with a win against Polish Tomasz Szczepaniak.
“He was surprised with a waza-ari, but Tomasz had two penalties. One on the ground, and the other one when he grabbed his judogi. Mohab put a lot of pressure on him. He finally had a third penalty after grabbing Mohab’s pants.”
Mohab was then defeated by Chinese Cheng Xunzhao, who took the 7th place. “Mohab had an hour to rest and had enough energy to fight the Chinese, but he was very powerful. He scored two waza-ari. With Mohab’s injury recently, he has a little trouble executing his techniques,” added Cantin.
Cadet European Cup in Fuengirola
At the Cadet European Cup in Fuengirola, in Spain, British Columbian Brae Booth (-70 kg) nearly won the bronze medal on Sunday.
During the bronze-medal fight, Brae was up 2 shidos to none in the first minute, but unfortunately took 2 shidos to tie it up and head into golden score. Very shortly in, she was given her third penalty for an illegal grip.
’’It was a very close match and Brae had a few opportunities to finish her opponent while narrowly missing her techniques,” commented Russ Gallant, assistant coach at the Lethbridge Regional Training Centre, in Alberta.
Earlier in the day, Booth scored one victory and one loss in the preliminary rounds, followed by two victories in repechage.
Jordann Warner (-63 kg) ended in 9th place. Her day ended after being defeated by waza-ari in repechage by German Charlotte Von Leupoldt. The British Columbian had two victories and one loss in the preliminaries.
Taylor Althouse (-81 kg) also ranked in 9th place. He lost his first fight in the preliminaries, but won in repechage. However, German Elias Kroll eliminated the Albertan by ippon.
Albertan Kierra Westlake (-57 kg) won her first bout, but was eliminated in the second one. Quebecois Alec Garand (-73 kg) was defeated in the preliminaries and in repechage.
Quebecois Guillaume Gaulin (-73 kg) and Ontarians Alexandria Lefort (-70 kg) and James Lonsdale (-73 kg) were all eliminated after their first fight.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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