Canada’s Junior Team Takes Second Place

John Jr. Messé A Bessong Wins Junior Pan-American Championship
23 April 2024
Canada takes home bronze, silver and gold
27 April 2024

Montréal, April 24, 2024 – Canadian junior judokas united forces on Wednesday in the Mixed Team event of the Panamerican Cadet and Junior Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Driven by collective efforts, the Canadians reached the final, where they came up against local athletes – and the defending champions of the competition.

Photo: IJF / Di Feliciantonio Emanuele
John Jr. Messe A Bessong

Today’s story began when the Canadian team lost its first match against the Brazilian team, 4-0, in the group phase.

Yehor Paladii (-90kg) was the first to take to the tatami. In a tight bout, the individual silver medallist came up against Jesse Barbosa (Brazil), who won by waza-ari.

Silver medallist in the over 78kg category on Tuesday, Alisa Kofman lost her only bout of the day to Evellyn Vitoria Das Chagas Pereira – the same opponent who beat her in the final of the individual tournament.

Crowned Pan-American Junior 100kg Champion the day before, John Jr. Messe A Bessong faced Brazil’s Andreu Coelho after Kofman’s turn was over. The Quebecer received three penalties, which led to his defeat and gave Brazil a 3-0 lead. Bianca Reis took over for the host country, and had the final word over Catherine Toshkov in an Under 57kg duel.

Yet, the Canadian judokas were able to bounce back against Chile.

John Jr. Messe A Bessong quickly set the pace by scoring two waza-ari against Patricio Urra, whom he had defeated in 49 seconds on Tuesday. Catherine Toshkov then defeated Ayinko Toloza by ippon to double the Canadian Team’s lead.

Lasha Tsatsalashvili’s victory over Tomas Hernandez in the Under 73kg category was followed by Charline Bourque’s win over Valentina Jimenez. These two brilliant performances confirmed Team Canada’s victory and sent it through to an exciting grand final.

However, the highest step on the podium wasn’t in the cards for the Canuck judokas, and in the end, it was the Brazilians who emerged to grab gold yet again.

Carla Van Zyl (-57kg) lost to Bianca Reis, as did Lasha Tsatsalashvili to Guilherme De Oliveira. Charline Bourque and Tigran Kryvytskyi (-90kg) took part in the next bouts. However sadly, both were defeated after receiving three penalties.

“We put in a good effort today (Wednesday) and we came in second. It was a tough final, it always is against the Brazilians. They’re a tough team and we knew they were the team to beat,” noted National Team Coach Sasha Mehmedovic.

“I’m pleased with the work our team put in. They gave it their all and fought very hard. Here’s hoping that next year we can finish on top of the podium!”

The Canadian delegation did not take part in the cadet team tournament.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

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

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