Montréal, October 11, 2022 – Ontario’s Kyle Reyes (-100 kg) experienced one of the best days of his judo career on Tuesday at the Judo World Championships in Tashkent. The 29-year-old judoka was untouchable right through to the grand final, where he was finally bested by local hero Muzaffarbek Turoboyev. Reyes therefore departs Uzbekistan with the title of runner-up world champion.
The gold medal match ended on a somewhat controversial note. Turoboyev had already received two penalties and, according to the commentators, seemed on the verge of receiving a third for non-combativity, with about 30 seconds remaining on the clock. However, the referee did not issue a penalty on the sequence. The bout therefore went into overtime, where Turoboyev managed to throw Reyes to the ground and claim the win.
“At the beginning of the fight, I had trouble sticking to my game plan, but I managed to tire him out enough to gain a bit of an upper hand. But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to score any points. I tried to push a little harder in overtime, but he quickly blocked me and gained the advantage, which gave him the win,” explained Reyes.
“It wasn’t an easy decision for the official at the end of the bout. I wasn’t attacking much, but he wasn’t doing anything at all. If I had been a bit more aggressive, I think the referee would have had no choice but to give him a third penalty,” added the Ontarian.
In the group stage, Reyes made a strong start to the tournament, winning four fights in a row. He defeated Miklos Cirjenics of Hungary, Benjamin Mataseje of Slovakia, Gonchigsuren Batkhuyag of Mongolia and Ilia Sulamanidze of Georgia to secure his spot in the semi-finals.
After defeating Zelym Kotsoiev of Azerbaijan in a fiercely contested battle, he advanced to the grand final, where he faced Turoboyev.
“At first, I wasn’t very happy. During the final, I felt that the gold medal was within my reach. The fight just ended, so I’m still feeling a bit disappointed, but I know I’ll be prouder of it in a few days.”
With today’s win, Reyes added a third Tashkent World Championships medal to Canada’s haul this week. On Saturday, Jessica Klimkait won a bronze medal, and on Sunday, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard won silver.
Disappointment for Shady El Nahas
Shady El Nahas (-100 kg) also had high hopes for this World Championships tournament. Unfortunately, his aspirations were dashed on Tuesday, when he was forced to settle for seventh place after being defeated in the repechage.
Following decisive victories over Aleksandar Kukolj of Serbia and Nikoloz Sherazadishvili of Spain, El Nahas lost to Muzaffarbek Turoboyev—the same Turoboyev who later defeated Reyes in the final to claim the title of weight division champion.
“I’ve lost to Kukolj twice in the past, so I studied his technique closely, and I knew what I had to do to beat him. Sherazadishvili is a two-time world champion in the under-90 kg weight class, but it was a perfect bout for me. I felt comfortable fighting him,” said El Nahas.
“In my fight against Turoboyev, I believed I had what it took to beat him. He gave me some kind of headbutt, and I thought he might be disqualified because of it, but the referees saw the sequence differently,” he added.
El Nahas, who was hampered by a minor injury, struggled to gain traction in the repechage and eventually lost to Belgium’s Toma Nikiforov, extinguishing his hopes for a medal. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old Ontarian is confident he will quickly bounce back from what he considers a minor setback.
“My head wasn’t completely clear. It was difficult mentally because I was set on a World Championships gold medal. I never even considered seventh place. I still have to prove that I’m the best, and I plan to do that in my next competitions,” he concluded.
On Wednesday, Marc Deschênes (+100 kg) will be the final Canadian to compete in Tashkent.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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