Shady ElNahas Returns to Podium, Gets his “Mojo” Back

“I’m right where I want to be”- Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard, Champion in Tbilisi
23 March 2024
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Credit: Tamara Kulumbegashvili

Shady ElNahas (on the left)

Montréal, March 24, 2024 – Shady ElNahas secured his first podium finish of 2024 on Sunday, capturing a silver medal at the Tbilisi Grand Slam in the under-100 kg category. Although the defeat was hard for him to swallow, it in no way represented the Canadian’s overall performance on the tatamis in Georgia this weekend.

In the big final, ElNahas refused to be daunted by the fact that his opponent, Nikoloz Sherazadishvili, had defeated him three times in their last three match-ups. He kept moving throughout the bout, launching several attacks that were blocked by the former under-90 kg world champion.

In fact, it was a counterattack by the Spanish judoka that brought the combat to an end, when he dodged ElNahas on the ground before using his left leg to throw ElNahas to the floor and win by ippon in the third minute of regulation time.

“It’s too bad, because Shady really set the rhythm of the match and dominated the holds,” commented national coach Antoine Valois-Fortier at the end of the day.

“However, you do have to give credit to [Sherazadishvili], who remained patient and waited for his chance,” he added. “He won the world championship twice in a lower weight class, and he has a lot of experience. He’s a high-calibre athlete, and Shady demonstrated that he was able to hold his own against him.”

The outcome, as disappointing as it was for ElNahas, remained secondary in the eyes of Valois-Fortier, who preferred to concentrate on the athlete’s successes. The latter made use of numerous approaches and techniques throughout the Grand Slam tournament, in which he won four of his five matches.

After his Israeli opponent Iosef SImin was disqualified in the first round for receiving three penalties, ElNahas followed up with a victory by ippon against Onise Saneblidze of Georgia and another by waza-ari against Zsombor Veg of Hungary. He then secured his spot in the big final with a spectacular throw against Laurin Boehler of Austria.

“Today [Sunday], we saw the real Shady! He got his mojo back on the mats, and showed us that he’s got several tricks up his sleeve. He also knew exactly when to use them, which bodes well for the future,” concluded Valois-Fortier.

For Kyle Reyes, who also competed in the under-100 kg tournament, the day did not pan out as he had anticipated. He was eliminated in the first round by local athlete Mikheil Japaridze, who won by ippon in overtime and finished the day in fifth place.

Louis Krieber-Gagnon, the only other Canadian in competition in Sunday’s closing tournaments, lost his only bout of the day by ippon to Aram Grigorian of the United Arab Emirates.

Canada thus completes the Tbilisi Grand Slam with four medals: One gold won by Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-63 kg), two silver won by ElNahas and Jessica Klimkait (-57 kg), and one bronze won by Christa Deguchi (-57 kg).

With the exception of Klimkait, all the Canadians who competed in the Georgian capital this weekend will be back on the tatamis next week, at the Antalya Grand Slam in Turkey.

Canadians halted in Bremen

Also on Sunday, seven Canadian judokas took part in the U21 competitions at the Bremen International Tournament in Germany.

Vincent Nepton (-60 kg) and Luke Thomson (-66 kg) saw the most action, finishing the day in the repechage after each of them won three of their five bouts.

Also in the under-66 kg weight division, Daniil Kremerman (2-2) was eliminated in the repechage, while Eliandre Barriault-Tremblay (1-1) was halted in the second round.

Matis Ganet (-73 kg) finished the day with one win and one loss, while his teammate Oleksandr Kaplin (-90 kg) lost both his bouts.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

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

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