Montreal, August 2, 2022 – After a fierce fight lasting nearly seven minutes, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard decoded her opponent’s weakness, and with a fateful arm lock secured victory – and a gold medal — in the Under 63 kg class on Tuesday, at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Beauchemin-Pinard knew she was far from the favourite judoka when she stepped onto the tatami against host England’sGemma Howell, yet her plan was clear. “I’d already faced her before, and at that time, we had a close bout and I lost. So, after that I prepared myself for a long match. In order to control positioning it was a lot of hand-to-hand, and I feel that I did really well in terms of that,” explained a pleased Beauchemin-Pinard after her triumph.
“Because it was a long fight, at one point, I began to doubt if I was actually going to win it. I went one sequence at a time, determined to keep coming back stronger.”
The 28 year-old athlete knew that Antoine Valois-Fortier was sitting in the coach’s chair – a former teammate, and someone she knew she could count on. “Antoine knows my judo style well, we’ve traveled together, and that makes it the perfect context to push myself further,” concluded the judoka.
Silver and bronze in the Under 81 kg class
In the under 81 kg class, two Canadian athletes reached the finals. François Gauthier-Drapeau fought for gold against England’s Lachlan Moorhead, while fellow Canuck and teammate Mohab ElNahas was on a mission for bronze.
After a solid bout, François Gauthier Drapeau finally had to admit defeat against Moorhead, dealt by way of a combination of two waza-ari good for an ippon. The Briton hit the Canadian with the same move twice.
“We had planned to counter that technique, but on the other side (ndl: of the body). Since Moorhead executed the move on the opposite side than what we were expecting, for my defensive move, I had to put myself in the wolf’s jaws. After the first waza-ari, I could tell I was losing, so I went after my opponent more aggressively, trying out a move so I wouldn’t lose 1-0. But, he succeeded a second time,” analyzed the disappointed silver medalist.
Earlier in the day, Mohab ElNahas, the other Canadian in that weight category, faced Barbados’ Asa Weithers for a bronze medal. In a fast-paced battle, the Canuck judoka was able to hold his opponent down – earning an ippon, and a shiny bronze medal to take home.
“Honestly, it was harder than I thought! I thought he would get tired after about a minute, and then I’d be able to throw him, but no, was a very physical fighter. I brought him to the ground and managed to pin him down – but it wasn’t as easy as it looked! Overall, I used the right technique and I’m happy with the result,” explained ElNahas.
Prior to EINahas’ medal match, the 26-year-old lost to eventual gold medalist Lachlan Moorhead, which led to one of two bronze medal bouts.
Looking for more thrilling judo matches featuring Canadians? Tune in to cheer on Canadian judokas Coralie Godbout (-78kg), Shady ElNahas (-100kg), Kyles Reyes (-100kg) and Marc Deschenes (+100kg), who will all step onto their respective tatamis Wednesday, for the final day of the 2022 Commonwealth Games tournament.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada