Montreal, February 4, 2017 – Montreal’s Ecaterina Guica (U52 kg) and Saguenay’s Stéfanie Tremblay (U63 kg) both claimed bronze medals at Saturday’s European Open in Sofia, Bulgaria. Montreal’s Louis Kroeber-Gagnon (U90 kg) is also bringing home a bronze medal. He was competing in the Visé Open, in Belgium.
After receiving a bye in the U52 kg opening round, Guica dispensed first of Belgium’s Myriam Blavier then of Britain’s Kelly Edwards, both by ippon. Her only defeat of the day came at the hands of Japan’s Rina Tatsukawa, who won by two waza-aris in the semi-final round. However, Guica came back in fine form to fight for third place, beating out Britain’s Chelsie Giles for the bronze medal.
In the U63 kg group, Stéfanie Tremblay also began her day with a bye. She vanquished her first opponent, Romania’s Stefania Adelina Dobre, but then lost by ippon to Germany’s Vivian Herrmann. In the repechage, Tremblay defeated Inbal Shemesh of Israel with an ippon, which allowed her to advance to the bronze medal round. She capped off her day victoriously, scoring an ippon against Lara Reimann of Germany.
“I’m really happy. It was a great day! And it was the first time we were competing under the new rules. It feels great to stand on the podium at a European world cup event! The level was high today. Ecaterina and I fought hard and well!” commented Stéfanie Tremblay.
A Medal for Louis Krieber-Gagnon
At the Visé Open, Louis Krieber-Gagnon climbed to the third step of the podium in the U90 kg class.
“This is my first ever medal at this tournament. After many months of training, it feels very reassuring,” stated the Montrealer.
Krieber-Gagnon’s first two matches of the day were against French competitors. He overcame the first, Timothee Besland, but was defeated by the second, Anthony Laignes. “It was decided in overtime when he managed to score,” he explained.
In the repechage, the Quebecois overpowered Jeffrey Ester and Brandon Tegelaar of the Netherlands as well as Nicolas Pavlovski of France. He continued his winning streak in the bronze medal round, where he outmanoeuvred Sjors Riddersma of the Netherlands.
“It was a tight match but I was able to catch him off-guard at the end with a move that allowed me to score an ippon,” explained Krieber-Gagnon. It was his first match against Riddersma. “This medal really motivates me to keep going!” he added.
In other action in the same weight class, Canada’s Mohab El Nahas didn’t make it past his first round.
In the U73 kg group, Warren Seib of Saskatchewan placed ninth, with two victories and one loss in the preliminary round, and one win and one loss in the repechage.
In the same group, Patrick Cantin of Deux-Montagnes lost both his first match and his repechage match while Bradley Langlois of Oshawa had one loss.
In the Over 100 kg class, Kevin Gauthier of Montreal didn’t make it past his first round.
Several Canadians also competed in the Arlon Ladies’ Open in Belgium on Saturday. However, none of them ranked.
“The girls worked hard. There were a few errors that cost a few of them the victory, but for most of them, we’re a team in development, and it’s the experience that really counts,” stated Jean-Pierre Cantin, national trainer for the junior and cadet programs.
Alberta’s Virginia Nemeth came away with two losses in the U48 kg group. In the U52 kg group, Marie Besson of Montreal also had two losses while Teaya Koliaska of Alberta had three.
In the U57 kg class, Gabrielle Thivierge of Saguenay was injured in her first combat of the day and wasn’t able to go on. Camélia Pitsilis of Longueuil finished the day with one win and two losses.
Janika Michel of Sept-Îles lost both her matches in the U63 kg group. Emily Burt of Oshawa finished with two wins and one loss.
In the U70 kg group, Audrey Poirier of Sainte-Julie and Allaya Copeland both finished the day with three losses. Adriana Portuondo Isasi of La Prairie had two wins and one loss while Hana Kuno of Alberta ended up with one win and two losses.