Small Details Make a Big Difference

A Third Medal for Canada at the Paris Grand Slam
3 February 2024
A Lacklustre Bronze Medal for Evelyn Beaton
10 February 2024

Montréal, February 4, 2024 – Five Canadians were in action on Sunday on the final day of the Paris Grand Slam. Shady ElNahas (-100 kg), Kyle Reyes (-100 kg), and John Jr Messé A Bessong (+100 kg) all won their first bouts before bowing out in the following round, ultimately failing to rank.

Shady ElNahas (white) Photo : Matthieu Rocher

After receiving a first-round bye in the under-100 kg category, ElNahas was up against Cédric Olivar of France. Boosted by the energy of the home-country crowd, Olivar powered the match into overtime, where ElNahas clinched the win when Olivar received a third penalty.

ElNahas then faced Nikoloz Sherazadishvili of Spain in another overtime match. The Ontarian bowed out after more than two and a half minutes of Golden Score.

According to coach Antoine Valois-Fortier, the match was within the Canadian’s grasp, but certain small details ended up counting for a lot.

“Shady’s first fight went well, but it was a bit more complicated than expected. Shady had already fought Sherazadishvili several times in the past. It was close, but a tactical error on our end allowed Shady’s opponent to score,” explained Valois-Fortier.

Reyes, who also received a first-round bye, defeated Aurélien Diesse of France before succumbing to Daniel Eich of Switzerland in the following round.

“Kyle didn’t have an easy draw, but he managed to beat an opponent who had beaten him in the past. After that, small details worked against us. I think Kyle may have slightly underestimated his second opponent. We’ll find some solutions for the future,” added the coach.

In the over-100 kg weight division, Messé A Bessong continues to gain international experience at the senior level. He won his first match of the day against Yevheniy Balyevskyy of Ukraine before bowing out to Minjong Kim of South Korea.

“John is increasingly getting the hang of it. There are still a few elements that need work, as he’s still in development, but he’s very good, and with more experience, he’ll be even better,” said Valois-Fortier.

Mohab ElNahas and Louis Krieber-Gagnon, who were also in action on Sunday, were limited to one bout each in the under-90 kg division. ElNahas lost to Daniel Nieto Trinidad of Spain, while Krieber-Gagnon lost to Giorgi Jabniashvili of Georgia.

Most of the athletes in Paris will now travel to Azerbaijan to take part in the Baku Grand Slam, which begins on February 16.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

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

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