Montréal, March 18, 2014 – The Canadian judoka Sarah-Myriam Mazouz walked away with a bronze medal at the Montevideo Pan-American Open, presented in Uruguay. Competing in the under 78 kg class, the Quebecoise lost just once in three bouts, Tuesday.
In her first round fight, Mazouz wasted little time on the tatami, making quick work of the Chilean Jacqueline Usnayo, winning with an ippon.
The semifinals would be a different story however, as the Quebecer would come up short versus the Brazilian Samanta Soares. Mazouz shot herself in the foot, taking four penalties that ultimately lost her the bout. “I did a good job of following my game plan early on, and even forced her into a penalty. But as the match wore on, she began to dominate. Once she started to control the pace of the fight, I couldn’t help but take penalties,” the 26-year-old judoka explained.
“I’m a little disappointed, since I felt like I could have done more in the bout, but in the end it made me realize that I still have a lot of work to do,” she added.
Mazouz regained her composure in the bronze medal match, where she defeated the Argentinian Lidia Arias with an ippon. “It went really well. It was over fairly quickly, and I was very fast in my transitions.”
Despite the bronze medal, the judoka knows she can be better. “I’m leaving Uruguay with a slightly bitter taste in my mouth, because I know that I’m capable of more,” Mazouz concluded.
In the under 70 kg category, Alix Renaud-Roy finished with a 5th place classification.
The Quebecoise got things started with a win by waza-ari over the Argentinian Mariana Lopez before succumbing to defeat versus the Brit Megan Fletcher, who won with a waza-ari and ippon. “I had a great opportunity in the bout. I managed to get her on the ground but she slipped away. Seconds later she caught me off guard to score the winning waza-ari.”
In the bronze medal fight, Renaud-Roy once again suffered defeat, this time at the hands of the Ecuadorian Vanessa Chala. The match would prove to be a close battle, with just a yuko separating the two athletes. “The match really came down to the grip technique. She was a very strong girl.”
In the same category, Monika Burgess placed seventh.
On the men’s side, Marc Deschênes came away with the best Canadian performance, finishing 7th in the under 100 kg class. The Quebecer started with a win over the American Ajax Tadehara before falling to the Mexican Sergio Garcia. In the repechage, Deschênes was beaten by the Brazilian Horacio Antunes.
Zachary Burt (-81 kg), Brandon Jobb (-90 kg) and Volodymyr Semyrozym (-90 kg) did not receive a classification.
The Canadian judokas will now head to Argentina, where they will compete in a Pan-American Open presented in Buenos Aires on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.