Two More Medals for Canada in Baku

Christa Deguchi Back on Top!
16 February 2024
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18 February 2024

weight division at the Baku Grand Slam in Azerbaijan, two more Canadian judokas climbed onto the podium on Saturday. Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard came close to repeating Deguchi’s feat, finishing with the silver medal in the under-63 kg category, while Arthur Margelidon secured a bronze medal in the under-73 kg group.

Photo IJF
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (on the left)

In the very lengthy under-63 kg big final, Beauchemin-Pinard led the action from the very beginning of the match, but ultimately bowed out to her opponent Lubjana Piovesana of Austria. Although the Canadian made numerous attacks right out of the gate, she was unable to clinch the win.

In the end, Piovesana scored an ippon after more than four minutes of overtime.

“It was a very close final, and a long match. Catherine wanted to set the tone right off the bat by attacking quickly. She may have been a little impatient at the end, but that’s easy to say once the bout is over. It’s an encouraging result at this point in the season,” said Canadian coach Antoine Valois-Fortier.

Beauchemin-Pinard, who had obtained a first-round bye, began her day with a sound victory over Sevinch Isokova of Uzbekistan. In the next round, however, she needed a little extra time to defeat Magdalena Krssakova of Austria.

The Québécoise, who currently sits at the top of the international rankings in her weight category, then secured her spot in the big final with two consecutive wins against Geke Van Den Berg of the Netherlands and Szofi Ozbas of Hungary.

“It was an excellent competition for Catherine. The beginning of the day went really well for her, and she scored points both on her feet and on the ground. She was disappointed in her performance at the Paris Grand Slam two weeks ago, so it’s great to see her come back like this,” added Valois-Fortier.

First Grand Slam podium finish since 2022

Meanwhile, Arthur Margelidon ended a 15-month Grand Slam medal drought when he defeated Rashid Mammadaliyev of Uzbekistan in today’s bronze medal final. With just a few seconds remaining in regulation time, he scored a waza-ari to secure the win.

Margelidon last won a Grand Slam medal in 2022, also in Baku.

In his first two bouts today, the Québécois edged out Heoncheol Kang of South Korea and Ibrahim Aliyev of Azerbaijan. He then lost to Abubakr Sherov of Tajikistan in the quarter-final. However, he bounced back in the repechage, besting Joan-Benjamin Gaba of France to qualify for one of the bronze medal finals.

“For Arthur, ending the day with four wins and one loss is really great. His quarter-final match was very tight, and he made good use of his skills and strengths to win some important fights. It’s great to see him back on the podium,” said Valois-Fortier.

François Gauthier-Drapeau (-81 kg) was limited to one bout on Saturday in Baku, which he lost to Zaur Dvalashvili of Georgia.

The Baku Grand Slam will conclude on Sunday. Canadians Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-90 kg), Kyle Reyes (-100 kg), and Shady ElNahas (-100 kg) will all be in action.

Justin Karn seventh in Germany

Canada was represented by one athlete on Saturday at the Para Judo Grand Prix in Heidelberg, Germany. Justin Karn (J2 -60 kg), who is originally from Guelph, Ontario, but who now lives in Montréal, finished the competition in seventh place.

Karn, who competes in the visually impaired category, won his first bout of the day against Anatole Rubin of France, before losing to Min-Jae Lee of South Korea in the next round, in a match that went into overtime.

The 42-year-old Canadian did not let the defeat get him down, however, and he roared back with a win by ippon over Roi Haim Armani of Israel. His day of competition came to an end when he was defeated by Sherzod Namozov of Uzbekistan.

Priscilla Gagné (J1 -57 kg), Christina Mowatt (J1 -57 kg), and Eitel Houedakor (J1 -90 kg) will compete in the Heidelberg Grand Prix on Sunday.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

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

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