Montreal, April 26, 2019 – The Canadian team had an incredible day at the Pan American Championships in Lima (Peru), where they won a total of six medals on Friday: two gold, two silver and two bronze.
The men’s final in -81 kg was all Canadian with Étienne Briand and Antoine Valois-Fortier, a fight won by the latter by waza-ari. While he didn’t win, Briand was the only opponent the gold medallist didn’t win against by ippon.
“I’m really happy, especially after missing seven or eight months because of back pain. I see improvement at each tournament, and I’m able to make up for lost time. I hope it’ll stay like that for the second year of the Olympic qualification process,” said Valois-Fortier, who has been crowned Pan-American champion for the third time in his career.
The London Olympics bronze medallist said he didn’t feel any back pain, even though he needs several therapeutic tapings to prevent injuries.
“I have to be careful, but for now, it’s going well and I’m healthy.”
A Long-Awaited Victory for Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard won the continental title in -63 kg at the end of a perfect day, after a final fight against Cuban Maylin Del Toro Carvajal. The hard-won victory came during overtime for the Saint-Hubert native.
“After three years being second, I finally win the final at the Pan American Championships! I’m really happy! I started strong for the first year of the Olympic qualification process by making the podium in China. I recently won several medals in Grand Prix, and I also wanted to win one in a Grand Slam, which I did. My last goal for this year was a gold medal at the Pan Ams, and I won it too!”
Arthur Margelidon reached the final in -73 kg and was defeated by waza-ari after over 2 minutes in overtime against Cuban Magdiel Estrada, the same athlete who eliminated Antoine Bouchard in the semifinal.
Bouchard, who was the gold medallist last year, was on the podium with his teammate after defeating Peruvian Alonso Wong by ippon in the bronze-medal bout.
In -70 kg, Kelita Zupancic will also be bringing a bronze medal back home. The judoka bounced back after being defeated in the semi-final by the eventual continental champion, Puerto Rican Maria Perez, and eliminated Cuban Nairelis Fuentes for her last bout of the day.
Earlier in repechage, the Cuban had eliminated Emily Burt, who ranked in seventh place with a 0-2 score.
Canada is ranked first with a total of eight medals since the beginning of the Championships.
The competition will continue on Saturday.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada