Gold for Lowan Le Bris, Seven Canadians on Podium

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Montréal, April 22, 2024 – An impressive total of 13 Canadian athletes found themselves battling it out for medals on Monday at the Cadet Pan-American Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ultimately, seven Canadians climbed onto the podium, led by Lowan Le Bris, gold medallist in the under-66 kg weight class.

Photo Judo Canada
Lowan Le Bris

In the big final, Le Bris needed extra time to vanquish Reiver Alvarenga Soto of Argentina. The British-Colombian finally secured the win 46 seconds into overtime by pinning his opponent to the floor.

To earn his spot in the final, Le Bris had defeated Leonel Martinez Ruiz of Mexico, Alfredo Valdivieso of Ecuador, and Tobias Vidal of Argentina in back-to-back bouts. His fight against Valivieso was especially tough, requiring three minutes of overtime.

“Lowan had a great day. He dominated every single one of his fights, and never seemed to be in any danger. His transitions were also great. He really impressed me. This was his first win at the cadet level, and I’m very proud of him. He really demonstrated his full potential,” said coach Sasha Mehmedovic.

In the under-90 kg final, Munkhu Batbayar faced Gelson Ricken of Brazil. Unfortunately, Batbayar received three penalties, thus losing the match and finishing in second place. Earlier, he had defeated Vladimir Manukyan of the USA to advance to the big final.

In the under-70 kg division, Charline Bourque also ended her day on the second step of the podium after bowing out to Maria Hottis of Brazil in the final. Trailing by only one point in the last minute of combat, Bourque made several attacks in an attempt to get onto the board. However, Hottis had the home country crowd on her side and managed to hold fast.

“Munkhu and Charline both fought Brazilians in the finals, in front of very noisy crowds. That wasn’t easy for them. But they both looked great, and they have a lot to be proud of today,” added Mehmedovic.

In the same weight class, Missy Jen Dorval Mbele won a bronze medal thanks to her dazzling victory over Victoria Ramirez Peguero of the Dominican Republic.

In the under-52 kg category, Mélody Grenier also captured a bronze medal. The athlete from the Boucherville Judo Club had earlier won her first match of the day against Stefany Salinas of Paraguay, before losing to Aubrey Genereux of the USA in the next round.

In the same weight category, Isla Diesmos finished fifth after losing to Genereux in the bronze medal final.

Charlie Thibault made quick work of clinching a bronze medal in the under-63 kg division, rapidly immobilizing her opponent Arianna Turkowsky of Peru to secure her spot on the podium.

In the under-57 kg category, an all-Canadian showdown took place in the bronze medal final, where Carla Van Zyl of British Columbia faced off against Hayden Thibeault of New Brunswick. Van Zyl ultimately prevailed after immobilizing Thibeault on the floor for 20 seconds to score an ippon. Thibeault finished fifth.

Katherine MacArthur (-44 kg) also finished fifth after losing to Sofia Hernandez of Mexico. Valeria Kostrovets (-48 kg) and Naomi Fowler (+70 kg) did likewise.

On the men’s side, although Avery Pampolina (-50 kg) lost his first bout of the day, he was able to fight for a bronze medal in his weight class. However, he was defeated by Benjamin Molina of Argentina, who won by ippon.

In the over-90 kg category, Jean-David Bouchard was winless in his two bouts of the day.

The Cadet and Junior Pan-American Championships will continue on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro, where the junior athletes will hit the tatamis. A total of 18 Canadians will be in action.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

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

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