Montréal, September 25, 2022 – After securing one silver and two bronze medals yesterday, the Canadian judo team capped off the weekend by adding five more bronze medals to its haul on Sunday at the Pan-American Open in Bogotá, Colombia.
Coralie Godbout and Mina Coulombe of Quebec each won medals in the under-78 kg weight category, while Ian Ryder and Nikola Petrovic of British Columbia did the same in the under-100 kg group. David Popovici of Quebec claimed the third spot on the podium in the under-81 kg class.
“We’re bringing back a lot of hardware!” joked coach Sasha Mehmedovic in an interview. “Our young athletes really rose to the occasion. They came here to fight, and they did well. Unfortunately, our more senior judokas didn’t fare quite as well, but still, this weekend our younger athletes showed us that the future is bright. I’m happy for them!”
Godbout and Coulombe finished the day with two wins and one loss each. In her bronze medal match, Godbout defeated Esteysy Diaz of Colombia, while Coulombe won by default.
In their final bouts, Petrovic (2-1) ousted Ariel Lorenzo Pina of the Dominican Republic by ippon, while Ryder (2-1) defeated Daryl Yamamoto of Peru, also by ippon.
As for Popovici, he claimed his third and final victory of the day by ippon over Bearach Gleeson of Ireland. The Montréaler’s only loss came at the hands of Alexander Borja of Colombia, who later went on to win silver. In the same weight class (-81 kg), Jérémie Blain of Quebec saw his day come to an end following his first-round loss.
With the exception of Coulombe, who is 26, Sunday’s four other Canadian medallists are all between 18 and 21 years old. According to coach Mehmedovic, the performances that really stood out today were those of Popovici and Petrovic.
“This was their first senior-level international tournament. As a coach, I wanted to see how they would perform against other senior athletes this weekend, and they did well. They came here to fight. They were forceful and they really wanted to win. There’s a lot of talent on this team, and these youngsters showed a lot of heart.”
Two other Canadians battled for bronze in Bogotá, but had to settle for fifth place after losing their last fights of the day.
Alexandria Lefort of Ontario (-70 kg) bowed out to Brenda Olaya of Colombia in her bronze medal match, while Alexandre Arencibia of Quebec (-90 kg) lost to Yuta Galarreta of Peru in his final bout.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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