Montreal, May 12, 2019 – Disappointed with his day, Zachary Burt will leave Azerbaidjan with a lesson in humility. A mistake during his second fight at the Baku Grand Slam cut short his hopes of being on the podium in the -90 kg category.
During his first bout, the Canadian, ranked 25th in the world, won by ippon against Popole Misenga, representing the International Judo Federation and ranked 241st in -100 kg.
“I was able to score on the ground with a choke near the end of the match to secure the win.”
However, things turned around during the second bout. Netherlander Noël Van ‘t End, 7th in the world, scored an ippon after a short 31 seconds.
“I was trying to put pressure and be the aggressor in the opening exchange of the bout, but my opponent took advantage of my over excitement and caught me for a full point. It was a match that I really thought I could win,” he said.
Michel Almeida, the Canadian team coach, said it was a difficult weekend for his team. Yesterday, Étienne Briand and Antoine Valois-Fortier were also eliminated after two bouts in -81 kg.
“Each of these athletes will now follow different roads. A longer preparation towards the Montreal Grand Prix will be followed by Valois-Fortier, while Briand and Burt have one more competition in fifteen days, respectively, the Hohhot Grand Prix and Celje Continental Open,” he explained.
Double the Efforts
With a score of one victory and one loss, Burt didn’t earn much points for the Olympic qualification.
“Stressful is the word that comes to mind. I don’t I think I will feel completely at ease until this process is finished. At the end of the day, it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” said the Oshawa native.
The judoka keeps his spirits up and plans to work twice as hard in training to work on key elements that could help him stand on the podium again.
“I have a few things to work on that I think will really make a big difference in winning those important matches and put me in the top 18. Recently I’ve had a number of small injuries, thankfully more annoying than anything, that have kept me from my normal training routine, so the main goal right now is to be 100% healthy and ready to work,” concluded Burt.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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