A Third Medal for Canada at the Paris Grand Slam

Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkaiton the Podium in Paris
2 February 2024
Small Details Make a Big Difference
4 February 2024

Montréal, February 3, 2024 – Following in the footsteps of Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkait, who won medals on Friday, a third Canadian made his mark at the Judo Grand Slam in Paris on Saturday. François Gauthier-Drapeau won a bronze medal in the under-81 kg weight category.

Following a semi-final loss, Gauthier-Drapeau finished his day on a high note, defeating Mihail Latisev of Moldova in one of the bronze medal finals. The Québécois scored a waza-ari with twenty seconds left to go in regulation time, and held on to his lead to claim the third spot on the podium.

Photo: IJF
François Gauthier-Drapeau, third from left.

“François’ battle for bronze greatly resembled his semi-final match, but this time, he made the necessary adjustments to ensure he won. He made the right decisions at the right time, and made a great throw at the end of the fight. He had a great day. He’s continually improving,” said Canadian coach Antoine Valois-Fortier.

Gauthier-Drapeau won a bronze medal at the same tournament in 2023.

In his first bout of the day, he was up against Bolor-Ochir Gereltuya of Mongolia, who put up a tough fight. Gauthier-Drapeau finally prevailed more than two minutes into overtime.

The Canadian was quick off the mark in his next match, securing his victory over Yuhei Oino of Japan in only twenty seconds. He then defeated Dominic Ressel of Germany to advance to the semi-final, where he lost to Zelim Tckaev of Azerbaijan when he received a third penalty with twenty-five seconds to go in regulation time.

“François started the day with three superb wins. In the semi-final, he lost on a tactical element, receiving a third penalty because according to the referees, he wasn’t attacking enough. That type of thing is a learning experience, and I’m sure it won’t happen again,” added Valois-Fortier.

Also in action in the French capital on Saturday was Arthur Margelidon (-73 kg), who won his first two bouts of the day against Masayuki Terada of Thailand and Turpal Djoukaev of Finland. However, he was halted in the next round by Akil Gjakova of Kosovo, who later won a bronze medal.

In the same weight category, Justin Lemire was defeated by Petru Pelivan of Moldova in his first and only fight of the day.

On the women’s side, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-63 kg) lost her only bout of the day to reigning junior world champion Melkia Auchecorne of France.

“Catherine nevertheless fought well. She did a lot of the right things, but the fight was decided in a single sequence at the very end of the match. She too will learn from that. It’s still early in the season. She’ll bounce back,” said the coach.

The Paris Grand Slam will conclude on Sunday. Mohab ElNahas (-90 kg), Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-90 kg), Shady ElNahas (-100 kg), Kyle Reyes (-100 kg), and John Jr Messé A Bessong (+100 kg) will all be in action.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operating Officer
Judo Canada
(514) 668-6279

Subscribe to our newsletter – Inscription à notre infolettre

Subscribe to our newsletter – Inscription à notre infolettre

Subscribe to our newsletter – Inscription à notre infolettre