Montréal, August 23rd, 2011 – The day ended rather quickly for the Canadian squad, Tuesday, in what was day 1 of the Judo World Championships, taking place in Paris, France. Only Frazer Will was able to come away with a victory, or classification, for that matter.
Featuring in the under 60 kg category, Frazer Will began his day by benefitting from a bye into the second round. The Quebecer, ranked 26th in the world, then went on to defeat the Georgian, Betkili Shukvani, winning with an ippon.
“I’m very happy with this win, Will affirmed. He’s a good judoka (Shukvani) and very strong, physically. He was pretty dominant early on in the fight. It was only in the last couple of minutes where he started to run out of gas, that I was able to gain the upper hand in the bout.”
He then went up against the 14th judoka in the world, the Brazilian, Felipe Kitadai. Will was beaten by both yuko and waza-ari. With the loss, the Quebecer finished the competition with a 17th place classification.
“It’s the second time I’ve faced him this year. Like in Hungary, the bout was extremely close and he was only able to take control of the fight in the last minute, Will explained. I know I have the ability to beat him, and do much better than I did today (Tuesday). I’m disappointed with my result. My objective was to finish amongst the top seven in my class.”
In the under 66 kg category, Michal Popiel and Sasha Mehmedovic were also disposed of in brisk fashion. Popiel, who started in the second round thanks to a bye, lost his first bout to the Kazakh, Azamat Mukanov, 93rd in the world.
In his defense, Popiel, who’s currently ranked 27th in the overall standings, was not in championship form, to say the least. “I suffered a groin injury a few weeks ago, and it really hurt my preparation for this event. Consequently, my confidence was a little bit shaken. I made errors in today ‘s (Tuesday) bout that were really out of character for me.”
For his part, Mehmedovic, 29th in the world, was beaten by the reigning world champion, the Japanese, Junpei Morishitai.
“Sasha offered up a good fight, Popiel pointed out. It was close right up to the end. In the final minute, he tried a maneuver that didn’t work and the Japanese took full advantage by countering with an ippon for the victory.”
Wednesday, the Canadian contingent will feature Joliane Melançon (-57 kg) and Nicholas Tritton (-73kg), respectively.