Montréal, July 13, 2014 (Sportcom) – Sunday was a good day for the Canadian judoka squad, as they came away with three more medals for their home country. Kyle Reyes, Kelita Zupancic and Antoine Valois-Fortier all made their way on to the podium at the Russia Grand Slam.
“It was a nice day for our athletes, who picked up important points in the Olympic selection process. It was also good to see all three of our medalists get their revenge after they barely missed out on podium finishes last weekend,” Canadian coach Nicolas Gill commented.
The Quebecer Reyes came away with a silver medal in the under 100 kg category. He came up just short in the grand finale, losing to the Azerbaijani Elmar Gasimov. He reached the last round by defeating the Russian Mikhail Kosyashnikov, the Brazilian Luciano Correa and the Japanese Ryunosuke Haga.
“It was already the second Grand Slam final for Kyle, despite only recently graduating from the junior ranks, Gill pointed out. His fight versus Gasimov was very tight.”
The Ontarian Zupancic (-70kg) also climbed to the second step of the podium. She lost in the gold medal bout to the No.1 ranked Dutchwoman, Kim Polling. According to her coach, it was also a very tight contest. In the semis she took out the Japanese Chizuru Arai by a waza-ari. She also got the better of the Russian Ekaterina Denisenkova and the Italian Valeria Ferrari.
Another Quebecer, Antoine Valois-Fortier, had a rollercoaster performance. He won one of the two bronze medals up for grabs in the under 81 kg class, but was injured in his last bout. He took an accidental blow to the head by his opponent, the Russian Arsen Pshmakov, and suffered a cut on his head.
In the preliminaries, He came away victorious from all his fights. He made quick work of the Serbian Miroljub Ivezic, the Hungarian Attila Ungvari and the Russian Stanislav Semenov. He then lost by ippon after just 12 seconds in the semifinals, setting up his bronze medal duel.
Also in the under 81 kg division, the British Columbian Scott McGrandle was eliminated after one just bout, losing to Pshmakov.
The Quebecoise Catherine Roberge (-78 kg) also had a tough day on the tatami. Like McGrandle, she suffered defeat in her first match of the tourney, falling to the Pole Daria Pogorzelec.