John Jr. Messé A Bessong Wins Junior Pan-American Championship

Gold for Lowan Le Bris, Seven Canadians on Podium
23 April 2024
Canada’s Junior Team Takes Second Place
24 April 2024

Montréal, April 23, 2024 – John Jr Messé A Bessong did not spend much time on the tatamis on Tuesday at the Junior Pan-American Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Québécois made short work of his three bouts of the day in his quest to secure the title of champion in the over-100 kg weight category.

Photo Judo Canada
John Jr Messé A Bessong

His final match, against Jose Miguel Brache Jarquin of the Dominican Republic, was his longest of the day at 76 seconds. Messé A Bessong threw his opponent to the ground before immobilizing him to seal the win, the third of his career at the Junior Pan-American Championships.

“John was clearly one of the best competitors out there today, in all the categories put together. He flew through the competition. Seeing him win his third consecutive junior title at the Pan-American Championships is very encouraging. He didn’t try to overdo it. He simply dominated in every respect,” said Canadian coach Sasha Mehmedovic.

In his first-round bout, the 19-year-old athlete had defeated Brazil’s Breno Dias Duarte in 20 seconds. In the next, he bested Chile’s Patricio Urra in 49 seconds.

Two runner-up world champions

In the women’s competition, Alisa Kofman (+78 kg) won her first two bouts of the day as she made her way to the big final, where she faced Evellyn Vitoria Das Chagas Pereira of Brazil. The Brazilian, cheered on by her home country fans, prevailed over Kofman and clinched the top spot on the podium. The Ontarian therefore finished second.

“These were Alisa’s first Junior Pan-American Championships, and she had a good day. Her first two bouts were relatively easy, but the Brazilian was physically stronger, and Alisa wasn’t able to fend off her attacks,” said Mehmedovic.

As for Yehor Paladii, he advanced to the under-90 kg final, where he was pitted against Oleksandr Nyzhnyk of the USA. Paladii put up a good fight, but was ultimately ousted by his opponent, who immobilized him on the ground to take top honours in the category.

Earlier, Paladii had won his first two fights of the day to earn a spot in the big final. He defeated Jhon Caicedo Sinisterra of Colombia and Derik Rodriguez of Puerto Rico.

“Yehor had a good start to the final bout, but he made some errors that ultimately cost him. He received two penalties, and he appeared to want to play it safe. He was taken by surprise on the ground after having been in control for much of the match,” explained the coach.

Several other Canadians were also in action late Tuesday, battling for bronze.

Lasha Tsatsalashvili was pitted against Uruguay’s Paolo Alberto Silva Manzi in one of the bronze medal finals in the under-73 kg weight class. After scoring a waza-ari early in the bout, Tsatsalashvili secured the victory by immobilizing his opponent on the ground.

In the under-48 kg category, Heidi Quach and Marie-Lune Turmel both finished the day on the third step of the podium. Turmel was expeditious in her final fight of the afternoon, edging out Brazil’s Mariana Nunes in less than 90 seconds. Meanwhile, Quach needed extra time to defeat Colombia’s Maryury Urena by ippon.

For the second day in a row, Carla Van Zyl (-57 kg) faced a fellow Canadian in a bronze medal match. Van Zyl, who won yesterday’s bronze medal final, was defeated by Catherine Toshkov today (Tuesday). She therefore finished fifth.

After losing her first bout of the day, Zen Mineque (-78 kg) had the opportunity to fight for a bronze medal. Unfortunately for the Canadian, she found herself pitted against a very hungry Mackenzie Schultz of the USA, who ousted her to take third place on the podium.

Victor Dessureault also fought for bronze in the under-60 kg group. After scoring the first point, he was caught off-guard by Colombia’s Jeronimo Pino Balbin, who managed to wrestle the Canadian into submission to seal the win.

Also in the under-60 kg group, Vincent Nepton lost his only bout of the tournament.

In under-81 kg action, Tigran Kryvytskyi fought a marathon battle for bronze against John Perez Ruiz of Colombia. In the end, Perez Ruiz clinched the win when Kryvytskyi received a third penalty.

Lowan Le Bris, gold medallist in yesterday’s cadet tournament, lost his first bout of the day today in the under-66 kg weight class, to Brazil’s Iago Santos de Oliveira, who later won gold. However, Le Bris managed to recover in the repechage, where he defeated Reiver Alvarenga Soto of Argentina and Reinaldo Caceres of Chile. He then bowed out to Jacob Yang of the USA.

In the same weight class, Daniil Kremerman was winless in two bouts, as was Arthur Karpukov in the under-81 kg group.

Charline Bourque (-70 kg) and Margot Chevalier (-63 kg) posted records of one win and two losses each, which was not enough to keep them in the running for a medal. In the under-63 kg category, Loika Robertson lost her only fight of the day.

The Cadet and Junior Pan-American Championships will continue on Wednesday with the team events.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

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

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