Canadian judokas Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard and Arthur Margelidon are back on the podium! The two athletes clinched bronze medals at the Antalya Grand Slam in Turkey on Friday.
Beauchemin-Pinard, who won a gold medal at the Tbilisi Grand Slam in last week, emerged victorious after a long battle for third place in the under-63 kg class. After almost five minutes of overtime, her Israeli opponent Gili Sharir received a third penalty, resulting in the Quebecker’s victory.
“It’s been a long time since I had such a long bout! Surprisingly, I felt good after the match and I still had energy,” noted Beauchemin-Pinard, following the medal ceremony. A week ago, in Georgia, she had quickly defeated Sharir in the preliminary round, so she wasn’t surprised that the Israeli was better prepared this time around.
“She knew what I wanted to do, and I think she wanted to avenge herself. It was a waiting game, but I managed to get her to take penalties.”
The 26-year-old judoka won her first two battles by ippon. In the semi-final, she received three penalties and bowed out to the UK’s Lucy Renshall.
“That match ended the same way as my last fight against her. I fought better this time, but I wasn’t feeling comfortable. I wasn’t the Catherine I needed to be to win this fight, and that’s something I’ll have to work on for the Olympics.”
Also in action today in the under-63 kg category was British Columbia’s Isabelle Harris, who lost her only match of the day to Joanne Val Lieshout of the Netherlands.
Margelidon victorious in overtime
Arthur Margelidon, who secured a silver medal at the Tbilisi Grand Slam last week, came out strong on Friday, winning three bouts by ippon. Once he reached the under-73 kg semi-finals, however, he was bested by Italy’s Fabio Basile, whom he was fighting for the first time.
“It was a pretty even match. He had his opportunities and I had mine. With 19 seconds left, he caught me off-guard with a grip. I wasn’t expecting such a successful attack,” said Margelidon, who is nevertheless glad he had a chance to face off against Basile before the Olympic Games.
As was the case for Beauchemin-Pinard, Margelidon’s battle for bronze was settled in overtime. The Montrealer received a second penalty early in the match, but he got the last word over Sweden’s Tommy Macias when he knocked him down to score his fourth ippon of the day. Unlike in the semi-final round, Arthur Margelidon knew this opponent very well.
“He’s a guy I’ve met several times and we’ve been fighting each other since the juniors. Each time he’s beaten me, I had the advantage, and it was always just a matter of small details,” he explained. “I didn’t allow myself any penalties early in the fight, and I remained focused on what I had to do. I was able to score in overtime and get him a penalty for non-combativity,” added Margelidon, who is satisfied with his performance.
Also in under-73 kg action, Antoine Bouchard defeated Peru’s Alonso Wong by ippon, then lost the next round to Turkey’s Bayram Kandemir, who went on to win silver.
In the under-81 kg group, Etienne Briand lost in overtime to Russia’s David Karapetyan.
With Beauchemin-Pinard’s and Margelidon’s medals, Canada’s Antalya Grand Slam total now sits at four. On Thursday, Christa Deguchi defeated her compatriot Jessica Klimkait in the under-57 kg gold medal final.
Competition resumes on Saturday. Five Canadian judokas will be in action: Zachary Burt and Mohab El Nahas in the under-90 kg category, Shady El Nahas and Kyle Reyes in under-100 kg, and Marc Deschênes in over-100 kg.