Montréal, March 12, 2022 – At the Cadet European Cup in Zagreb, Croatia, on Saturday, Canada’s Charlize Medilo refused to give up. Although she was defeated in the second round, she strung together three straight wins in the repechage to advance to the bronze medal final in the under-48 kg category, where she lost by a slim margin.
The Canadian judoka began her day with a victory over Hungary’s Janka Juttner. She then lost to Italy’s Alessandra Rocco, a setback that sent her to the repechage.
“I was so disappointed! I knew I could do better, so I decided to focus on my upcoming bouts to try to win a bronze medal, even though I was initially going for gold,” said Medilo, who experienced some knee pain during the competition from an injury she suffered before leaving for Croatia.
Once in the repechage, the Albertan found her groove. She went on a three-match winning streak before facing Belgium’s Camille Sternon in the fight for a bronze medal.
Medilo scored first with a waza-ari. Her opponent then tied the score. Only 35 seconds remained in regulation time when Medilo was ousted by Sternon.
“I tried to ignore my pain and fatigue because I really wanted a medal. It’s a bit disappointing, but still, it’s not bad for my first international tournament! I’ll just have to work harder, especially on my grips,” added Medilo.
Ekaterina Danilkov of British Columbia, who also fought in the under-48 kg category, lost her only combat of the day to Poland’s Wiktoria Slazok, who later won a bronze medal.
On the men’s side, Raphael Gaanan (-60 kg) of British Columbia lost to Matej Klobucnik of Slovakia and Omer Faruk Turgutlu of Turkey. Fahd Fithane received three penalties his under-66 kg match against Saba Samadashvili of Georgia. He then lost to Darius Ionescu of Romania.
It was the first international tournament for the four Canadians.
Competition will resume on Sunday in Croatia. Five Canadians will be in action: Aliya Koliaska (-57 kg) and Callie Render (-63 kg) on the women’s side, and Arthur Karpukov (-73 kg), Lasha Tsatsalashvili (-73 kg) and John Jr. Messe Bessong (+90 kg) on the men’s.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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