Montréal, November 28, 2021 – Shady ElNahas (-100 kg) and Marc Deschênes (+100 kg) both earned a bronze medal for themselves and Canada, Sunday, on the final day of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in the United Arab Emirates.
Fifth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, EINahas emerged victorious in his bronze medal match against Falk Petersilka of Germany. The Ontarian gave his opponent a solid throw only 22 seconds into overtime – good for a waza-ari, as well as a coveted spot on the podium.
Yet despite today’s positive outcome, the 23-year-old athlete said he was disappointed with his performance – the only colour of medal he was after today was gold.
“I’m honestly disappointed with my bronze medal, because if I had won gold, I would have been ranked number one in the world, which is clearly my main goal. I didn’t feel at the top of my game during the competition, which is why I needed extra time to beat my opponents,” explained ElNahas.
In the semifinals, EINahas lost by ippon – he wasn’t able to better Russian judoka and eventual silver medallist Matvey Kanikovskiy. In the match previous to the above, ElNahas needed extra time to earn a victory via waza-ari over Uzbek athlete Aklmurodbek Khudoyberdiez.
Deschênes in the right place at the right time for bronze!
Marc Deschênes’ final bout on the tatami was decidedly easier than EINahas’ – even if the results were the same. Deschênes Ukrainian opponent Yevheniy Balyevskyy was missing-in-action for the duel, and as a result, the 28-year-old Quebecer’s victory was literally a given.
Despite their different competitive experiences today, Shady ElNahas had only good words about his teammate, and was pleased about Deschênes’ bronze medal.
“I’m so happy that Marc won his first Grand Slam medal this weekend. He’s come a long way and honestly just keeps improving. He’s totally going to be one to watch in future matches,” noted ElNahas.
Earlier, the Laval-based judoka had gone through the repechage round, where his victory by ippon over French national Joseph Terhec gave him access to the bronze medal match. The 28-year-old athlete started his day with an ippon win against an opponent from the United Arab Emirates, and followed that bout with an ippon loss against Romanian Vladut Simionescu in the quarter-finals.
The only Canadian woman on the tatami Sunday was Coralie Godbout (-78 kg), who was unfortunately defeated in her only duel of the day. She was lost to Migle Dudenaite (Lithuania) after a marathon bout that lasted over 11 minutes. Despite the grit and endurance she demonstrated during that epic-length bout, she was unable to earn a ranking.
Mohab ElNahas suffered the same fate as Godbout in the men’s -90 kg category; he was defeated in his first combat by an athlete from Tajikistan.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada