Montréal, April 16, 2022 – After finishing fifth in her last two international tournaments, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard ended her day on the second step of the podium at the Pan-American Championships in Lima, Peru, on Friday.
Her day had gone smoothly until the very last round, where she faced a forceful Katharina Haecker of Australia in the under-63 kg gold medal final. The Québécoise was awarded silver.
“It feels good to make it to the final and to get back on the podium. Of course, once in the final, I had hoped to win gold, but it was a close, solid fight. I made a slight error toward the end that allowed Haecker to get a choke hold, and I had no choice but to tap out,” explained Beauchemin-Pinard, who was the defending Pan-American champion.
In her earlier bouts, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist had ousted Marcela Alfaro of Chile and Alisha Galles of the USA back-to-back to advance undefeated from her pool.
In the semi-final, it was Cuban Yusmari Reyes Laffita’s turn to get a taste of Beauchemin-Pinard’s medicine, as the Canadian was determined to advance to the gold medal round. Reyes Laffita later won a bronze medal.
“The day went super well. I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks in my early fights, so I took my time as much as possible. I felt good in every sequence. In the semi-final, I stayed in control and never felt like I was in any danger,” said Beauchemin-Pinard. “I’m satisfied with my day and happy I made it to the podium. I’m going to keep working on certain things so that next time, I make it to the top.”
In the same weight class, Isabelle Harris lost her only bout of the day to Prisca Awiti Alcaraz of Mexico.
Two bronze medals
In the under-52 kg division, Kelly Deguchi defeated Kristine Jimenez of Panama to clinch a bronze medal.
“Kelly fought very offensively and aggressively all day today. I got the impression she was a bit sluggish at the beginning of the bronze medal round, though, and that cost her a point. But she recovered well and adjusted her attitude, and stayed very focused on winning,” commented coach Antoine Valois-Fortier.
In her first fight of the day, Deguchi edged out Argentina’s Ayelen Elizeche before being defeated by American Katelyn Jarrell.
The Albertan did not let the loss get her down, however, and she came back strong in the repechage to dispose of Mexico’s Paulina Martinez.
On the men’s side, Antoine Bouchard (-73 kg) also won a bronze medal when his opponent Daniel Cargnin of Brazil failed to show up for the bronze medal final due to an injury.
Earlier, the Québécois had won his first match of the day against Sam King of Australia before losing to Dominic Martinez of the USA, who later won the gold medal. Bouchard then defeated Arkangel Barboza of Colombia to advance to the bronze medal round.
“It was a bit of a disappointing day for me. Sure, I finished third, but I’m still not in the same shape I was in before the Tokyo Games. I’ve been improving at every tournament, but I’m still not satisfied,” said Bouchard.
In the same weight category, Arthur Margelidon finished seventh after losing the first round of the repechage to Gilberto Cardoso of Mexico. He ended his day with a record of one win and two losses.
On Saturday, Alicia Fiandor (-70 kg), Coralie Godbout (-78 kg), Étienne Briand (-81 kg), François Gauthier-Drapeau (-81 kg), Keagan Young (-90 kg), Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-81 kg), Shady El Nahas (-100 kg), Ian Ryder (-100 kg) and Marc Deschênes (+100 kg) will be in action at the Pan-American Championships.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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