Montréal, October 6, 2012 – It was a prosperous day for Canadian judokas, as the team came away with a collection of three medals, taken from World Cups in Istanbul and Minsk. Catherine Roberge (-78 kg) triumphed in Turkey, while Patrick Gagné (-66 kg) won gold and Alexis-Morin-Martel (-73 kg) picked up silver in Belarus.
Exempted from the first round, Roberge, 35th in the world, won all three of her bouts by way of ippon.
The Quebecoise defeated in succession the judokas Sibel Caliskan of Turkey, the German Julia Tillmans, and finally the Croat Ivana Maranic, ranked 55th in the under 78 kg class.
“I’d never faced Maranic before. She’s a young athlete who fights well, indicated Roberge. I had the luck of being assisted by a French coach who I knew well for the final. He really helped me manage my bout. I was in control throughout, and the second my opponent made an error, I pounced on the opportunity to score an ippon.”
“It’s a good preparatory tournament before Abu Dhabi next week,” explained the Quebecer who was the highest ranked judoka in the International Federation rankings in Turkey, and who will be in action at the United Arab Emirates Grand Prix in exactly seven days.
“I was aiming for gold, just like last week. I was sick at the Rome World Cup, so in that case I was just glad to get through it. Even then I was able to finish third; but this week I was feeling good, so I felt like nobody could get in my way.”
Also in action in Istanbul, Stéfanie Tremblay was eliminated in her opening bout in the under 57 kg division. The German Miryam Roper, classed 13th and the eventual winner of the bronze medal, beat the Quebecoise, 92nd in the world, with an ippon.
Gagné comes from behind twice
Gagné followed a similar script to that of Roberge, obtaining a first round bye before winning his next three bouts.
The 66th ranked judoka in the under 66 kg category first took out the Belarusians Tsimur Hasymau, by yuko, and Vadzim Shoka (125th) by ippon, followed by a victory over the Israeli Yan Vinogradov, 139th, also by ippon.
“It was my first medal in a World Cup competition in Europe. I won one in South America, but the skill level there was quite a bit lower,” The Quebecer illustrated, clearly pleased with his performance.
“I had three really good fights. I fell behind in both the semifinal and final, but I came back strong. I’m very satisfied,” The Canadian champion in the -66 kg class added, after winning the finale by throwing his opponent to ground.
“The World Cup here is usually pretty difficult. Today, the talent level was a bit lower than usual. I took advantage. What’s important is that I walked away with gold.”
“What’s also nice is that I obtained my standard A for the Canadian team. I’m now number one in the country, meaning I have the credentials to compete in the World Championships next summer.”
Three out of four for Morin-Martel
As for Morin-Martel, 56th ranked judoka in the under 73 kg class, he won three of his four bouts.
After receiving a bye into the second round, the Quebecer scored a waza-ari versus both the Estonian Alexander Zelenskiy and the Belarusian Ihar Mashko. After getting the better of the Lithuanian Arturas Maiboroda by yuko, he suffered his only loss of the day, falling in the gold medal match to the Belarusian Aliaksei Sviryd.
Winner by ippon, Sviryd also took out the Quebecois Justin Imagawa in his first contest.
Finally, Guillaume Perrault, in the -90 kg division, came ever so close to climbing the podium, settling instead for a 5th place finish.
After benefitting from a first round pass, the Quebecer, ranked 144th in the world, lost his second round bout by ippon to the Russian Magomedrasul Gashimov, eventual silver medal winner.
In the repechage, Perrault came back strong with a victory by ippon over the 183rd ranked Latvian Andrejs Tomasovs, but would later come up short against the Pole Igor Dzierzanowski, also by ippon.
Many of the athletes who competed in Turkey and Belarus will be participating at the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.
Rédigé par Sportcom pour Judo Canada