Montréal, November 30, 2012 – Competing in the first Grand Slam event of her career, Stéfanie Tremblay came away with a very respectable 5th place finish, Friday, in the under 57 kg category in Tokyo. Tremblay took full advantage of her first round bye, defeating the 13th ranked judoka, German Miryam Roper, in overtime. She would take her next opponent to extra time as well, coming up just short versus the Japanese Nozomi Hirai.
“I’m happy with my performance today, because I battled really hard! Winning against a girl who’s ranked 13th in the world, that’s a big step up for me. My only regret is that I didn’t give my all in overtime against the Japanese judoka. Still, it’s given me a lot of confidence going forward,” the 119th ranked Quebecoise explained.
Tremblay was a bit sour about her defeat in the quarterfinals, because she believes that the judges’ decision could have easily gone the other way.
“There weren’t that many holds, neither for her or me. The judges decided that I was the one being more defensive. It’s very frustrating to lose like that, because in my opinion, I didn’t lose that fight. I didn’t get thrown to ground, and I sincerely believe I didn’t deserve that penalty. But I guess that being in Japan, fighting against a Japanese, I had to be the one to make the throw,” explained Tremblay, who would have been guaranteed a medal had she’d been declared the winner.
Her victory over Miryam Roper was still very satisfying, however, especially since the German had beaten her twice in the past.
“My first two bouts against her didn’t go nearly as well. I’m starting to get to know her a lot better, so I knew what I had to do and I felt confident going in to the fight. She’s a really powerful athlete, and always extremely tough in the first two minutes of the bout. She gets fatigued from that point on, though, and that’s where I struck for my throw and the waza-ari. Once we got to overtime I got the sense that I was fresher than she was. I was able to neutralize her and win the match.”
Among the other Canadians in action, Audrée Francis-Methot (-52 kg), Patrick Gagné (-66 kg) and Antoine Bouchard (-66kg) were all eliminated in their first bouts and did not receive a classification.
The Tokyo Grand Slam continues on Saturday. The day will be highlighted by the return of Antoine Valois-Fortier, bronze medalist in London, who will be competing in his very first competition since his Olympic podium in the summer.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada