Montreal, May 26, 2019 – Shady El Nahas barely missed the chance to win the fifth bronze medal of the Canadian team during the weekend at the Hohhot Grand Prix, in China. Fighting in -100 kg, the judoka had to settle for the 5th place on Sunday.
German Karl-Richard Frey defeated him by ippon, putting an end to his hopes for a podium. “I’m very disappointed with my end result, but I think I competed well. I beat the Olympic bronze medallist for the second time, the junior world champion, and lost to the current senior world champion in a very close fight. I believe if I improve a few small things, I will beat him.”
El Nahas added he gave it everything he had and fought well until his bronze-medal bout. “I made a mistake positioning myself and got caught. I will go back to Montreal and get help from my coach, Michel Almeida, to improve and be ready to medal at the Montreal Grand Prix.”
Earlier today, the Ontarian won 2 bouts in the preliminary round, and lost by ippon in the semi-final against South Korean Cho Guham, who later won the title.
Also fighting in this category, Kyle Reyes ranked in 7th place. The Ontarian had a score of one victory and one loss in the preliminaries before being eliminated in repechage by the same opponent who eliminated his teammate in the bronze-medal match.
Zachary Burt Disappointed in Slovenia
At the Celje European Cup, in Slovenia, Zachary Burt (-90 kg) ranked in 5th place, a disappointed result for the athlete. He commented that physically, it was one of his worst days.
“This event isn’t in line with the Olympic qualification, but nevertheless, I should at least have been in the final. For some strange reason, my legs felt completely dead, so any attack from my opponents was shaking my balance.”
Burt was defeated by waza-ari in a close final for the bronze against a local favourite, Narsej Lackovic. He thinks the referees made a costly mistake.
“I had my opponent pinned, and I guess they weren’t aware of the situation that I had him in and refused to call osaikomi. I was holding him for a minimum of 10 seconds before they eventually stopped the situation. It is highly frustrating, because that would have given me a half-point to tie the match, or if they hadn’t stopped us, I would have continued to hold him for the full point and the victory,” he explained.
Earlier, the Oshawa-native scored 1 victory and 1 loss in the preliminary rounds, then won both his matches in repechage.
“I really can’t explain or find a reason why I felt so off today, but there are no excuses. At the end of the day, it’s my job to find a way to get it done, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to today,” added Burt.
Fighting in the same category, Montrealer Louis Krieber-Gagnon was eliminated by ippon after his first fight against Hungarian Peter Kordely, the eventual bronze medallist.
Four Medals at the Pan American Cup
At the Pan American Cup, in Panama, Emily Burt, Mina Coulombe, Mohab El Nahas and Marc Deschênes each stood on the podium in their respective categories.
Fighting in -70 kg, Emily Burt won the silver medal.
“Emily really wanted to prove herself after her disappointed result at the Pan American Championships,” said national team coach Jean-Pierre Cantin.
After 2 victories, Burt saw her series of victories come to an end against Cuban Onix Cortes Aldama in the final.
“She had a good final and she controlled the fight, but she made a mistake and the Cuban took the opportunity to score,” added Cantin, while thinking the ippon was questionable. “I think it was more of a waza-ari, and she could have come back in the fight, but that’s how it ended. Emily still did a good job.”
“I fought well, I had a good strategy and everything was going great until the Cuban got an ippon she maybe shouldn’t have. After that, I didn’t have another chance,” said Burt.
Before that, Burt had the upper hand against Cuban Nairelis Fuentes and Brazilian Ellen Santana. “The Cuban had defeated me a few weeks ago at the Pan American Championships, so it felt good. I was up against strong opponents, but I felt good and strong on the mat.”
Mina Coulombe won her bronze medal in -78 kg after defeating Peruvian Camila Figueroa Aquino.
“I had a lot of pressure, because I needed these points for the Pan American Games,” she said. “I was losing with 2 shidos, but I was able to give her 2 penalties and to score in golden score. It was very challenging physically and mentally, but I’m really happy to have won this one.”
After winning against Chilean Jacqueline Usnayo, the judoka from Baie-Comeau was defeated by Venezuelan Karen Leon. “I know her and she’s always a tough opponent. My coach noticed a good improvement since our last fight, so it was nice to know I’m on the right track.”
In -90 kg, Mohab El Nahas earned his place on the third step of the podium by winning against Argentinian Tomas Spikermann in the bronze-medal bout.
The judoka took his revenge on the opponent who had recently defeated him in a Pan American Open. “I knew his style, and I was mentally prepared. I was able to execute a technique to win! It was important for me,” added the Canadian.
Earlier in the day, El Nahas had defeated Venezuelan Anthony Pena before losing against Columbian Francisco Balanta. “I’ve already won against him 4 times, but this time, he surprised me. I was dominating with a good grip, but he got me. I wasn’t ready,” explained the athlete, who then won in repechage to earn a bronze medal.
Marc Deschênes won a bronze medal in +100 kg after winning against Argentinian Hector Campos. The Laval native already had a score of one victory and one loss.
Marie Besson (-52 kg) and Bradley Langlois (-73 kg) both had a similar journey and ranked in 5th place in their respective categories.
The Montrealer and the Ontarian had a victory and a loss in the preliminary rounds, and another win in repechage. Besson ended her day with a loss in the bronze-medal bout against Panamanian Kristine Jimenez, and Langlois against Brazilian Lincoln Neves.
Alex Marineau (-81 kg) and Michael Guerreault (-100 kg) were defeated in their first match and didn’t get a ranking.
“The team did a good job. The tournament was pretty important, because it was the last one before the selection for the Pan American Games. The athletes performed well considering the pressure they had,” said Jean-Pierre Cantin.
The Montreal Grand Prix, held at the Maurice-Richard Arena on July 5-7, will be the next major event for Canadian judokas.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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