Montréal, March 16, 2013 – Quebecoise judoka Stéfanie Tremblay took home top honours in the under 57 kg class, Saturday, at the Pan-American Open in Montevideo, Uruguay.
“I definitely did not have a gold medal in mind when I got here. I injured my left shoulder (ligament strain) three weeks ago. Since I wasn’t 100%, I came in here just wanting to do my best. In the end, this win qualifies me for the World Championships,” the 22-year-old athlete noted.
The Montrealer, ranked 68th in the world, began her day with a victory by ippon over the Argentine Gabriela Narvaez (102nd) followed by a win over the 62nd ranked American Hana Carmichael by way of a waza-ari.
In the semi-finals, Tremblay made quick work of the 37th ranked Mexican Ana Leon, scoring an ippon less than one minute into the bout by immobilizing her opponent on the ground.
In the gold medal fight, she took on the Japanese judoka Shoko Ono (78th). Down early, Tremblay came back strong in the second half of the bout, recording an ippon with 20 seconds left in regulation.
“My opponent was quite solid. She scored a waza-ari early on in the match and I fell directly on my left shoulder. I stayed down for a bit. Finally, I decided to continue the bout. She scored two yukos shortly after, which got me down a little. My thinking from that point on was just to get through the fight. I managed a waza-ari that gave me hope, then she tried a move that I countered with quickly to score the winning ippon,” Tremblay explained.
None of the other Canadians in action were able to muster much success. Audrée Francis-Méthot (52kg) fell in the first round by ippon to the Brazilian Mayra Gabrielle Silva.
On the men’s side, Youssef Youssef (60 kg) won his first bout by ippon versus the Colombian John Futtinico before losing his next two bouts in the same fashion to Brits Ashley McKenzie and Graham Trinder.
In the same category, Charles Breton-Leduc (60 kg) was beaten in his very first bout. The Brit Gregg Varey eliminated the Quebecer by way of a waza-ari.
As for Michael Fortin-Demers (73 kg), he was also eliminated in the opening round, beaten by the Brazilian Luis Carmo by ippon at the 2:00 mark of the match.
Great team effort in Portugal
Meanwhile at the European Cup in Coïmbre, Portugal, five Canadian judokas made their way onto the podium.
Ecaterina Guica won all five of her bouts in the under 52 kg category to win gold. Jessica Klimkait (48 kg) finished 3rd with a record of four wins and one loss. Dequan Darren Elcock (55 kg) matched Klimkait’s result on the men’s side.
Antoine Bouchard (66 kg) and Arhur Margelidon (73 kg) both won six of their seven fights en route to 3rd place finishes.
Elsewhere, Ève Brochu-Joubert (57 kg) finished with a 9th place classification after winning two of her four bouts. Nicolas Di Bartolo (60 kg) also ended his day in 9th, putting together a record of 3 wins, two losses.
Of the other Canadians in action, Alexia Piché (57 kg), Philippe Cantin (66 kg), and Tait Wiley (73 kg) were able to win bouts, but none received a classification.
Lorena Kaegi (48 kg), Briana McCracken (52 kg), Cassidy Norris (57 kg), Josianne Gagné (57 kg), Philippe Desjardins (60 kg), Adam Takahashi MacFadyen (60 kg), Gueorgui Poklitar (66 kg) and David Boucher (73 kg) were all eliminated in the first round.
The Canadian judokas will resume competition tomorrow in Montevideo, Coïmbre.