Montréal, May 22, 2022 – It was a banner week for Eibhleann Alexander at the Canadian Open Championships, which came to a close on Sunday with the senior tournaments at the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex in Montréal. The Ontarian seized the opportunity to defend her national title in the under-57 kg category and win her fourth medal in as many tournaments this week.
“I was pretty tired today, but I was also really motivated, because for me, this was the most important tournament. The key for me was to stay focused and follow my game plan with each of my opponents,” said the 20-year-old after winning her most recent medal.
On Thursday, Alexander kicked off the week with a bang, winning gold in Ne Waza (-63 kg) and finishing second in the all-around final. That same day, she and her teammate Sophia Teper also won bronze in the U23 Nage No Kata.
Alexander did not stop there, however. Following a day of rest, she was back on the tatamis on Saturday, where she successfully defended her U21 national title. She then relied on her training to help her draw on her reserves and complete the sweep in the under-57 kg weight class.
“What helped me win today was all my preparation. I always train hard to keep improving, and that’s what made the difference. I was ready and I managed to defend my titles. It feels great and I’m really proud of myself,” added Alexander, who also won a double crown in 2019.
National junior team coach Sasha Mehmedovic had a front row seat for Alexander’s performances. As he put it, Alexander showed tremendous character throughout the week.
“She really demonstrated her mental strength. It would have been perfectly understandable if she had lost after so many fights, but she was determined to win, and she proved she’s still the best in Canada. Her grips were consistent, and she was never in any real danger,” added the coach.
A fourth title for Alexandre Arencibia
On the men’s side, Alexandre Arencibia secured the fourth Canadian senior title of his career. However, it was his first win in the under-90 kg category. Until recently, he competed in the under-81 kg weight class.
Although he had not been able to fight for several weeks due to a pelvic injury, the Québécois managed to stay sharp. He won all his bouts today, including the final against his countrymate Alex Garand, also of Quebec.
“It was great to be back! I felt good on the mats and I was able to win another senior title. That was my goal in coming back to competition. Mission accomplished,” said Arencibia, following his victory.
“I think my level of experience helped a lot. I had a strategy for fighting each of my opponents, and it worked out well. We pretty much all train together, so I knew it would be difficult. It was quite a challenge.”
Frédéric De Cardaillac (Quebec) also performed brilliantly in the senior category on Sunday. Following a disappointing second-place finish in the U21 under-66 kg category the day before, the judoka bounced back to win the national title in the senior category. According to Mehmedovic, De Cardaillac’s performance was indicative of his tenacity.
“Despite yesterday’s loss, he rallied for the senior event. It was an impressive accomplishment, especially considering that he was fighting experienced judokas. We knew the tournament would be tough. He showed us that he deserved to win it,” concluded the coach.
The Canadian Open Championship results can be viewed on the Judo Canada website.
To conclude the four-day tournament, Judo Canada would like to congratulate all the athletes who competed on the weekend and thank all those who helped make the event a success.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada