Five More Medals for Canada in Brazil

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Montréal, April 27, 2024 – The Canadian judo team wrapped up the senior competitions at the Pan-American–Oceania Championships with five new medals on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: one gold, three silver, and one bronze.

The maple leaf was on full display in the under-100 kg weight division, where Shady El Nahas and Kyle Reyes took each other on in the big final. Right from the start of the bout, Reyes launched several attacks, but ElNahas was quick to respond, scoring a waza-ari.

Photo : Confederacion Panamericana de Judo

The two teammates then continued to battle it out for the entire four minutes of regulation time, at the end of which El Nahas was declared champion.

“They’ve fought each other several times now in competition, so they know each other well. It was a very tight, very tactical fight. Shady managed to score a point about halfway through, which surprised Kyle, and he held on to his lead until the end,” said coach Antoine Valois-Fortier of the 26-year-old’s performance.

The two bronze medals went to Brazilians Rafael Buzacarini and Leonardo Goncalves.

Silver hat trick

Kyle Reyes was not the only Canadian to snag a silver medal on Saturday. François Gauthier-Drapeau also climbed onto the second step of the podium, in the under-81 kg weight category.

In the big final, the Québécois lost by ippon to Brazil’s Guilherme Schimidt, who had also won gold at the Pan-American Games in Santiago.

“François was clearly leading the fight. It was his best performance so far against this opponent, but he made a mistake at the end which cost him the match,” said Valois-Fortier.

Before reaching the final, Gauthier-Drapeau began by defeating Maarten De Ridder of New Zealand. He then ousted Alain Aprahamian of Uruguay in the quarter-final and Gabriel Falcão of Brazil in the semi-final.

In the women’s over-78 kg category, Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi also won a silver medal. She advanced all the way to the big final, where she was pitted against Beatriz Souza of Brazil, who quickly defeated her by ippon.

“Ana beat her Cuban opponent quickly and decisively. Unfortunately, in the final, it was over pretty fast,” said Valois-Fortier. “However, I’m convinced that she learned a lot from this loss, and all in all, she had a great day, with three wins.”

In the over-100 kg group, John Jr. Messé A Bessong, who was crowned junior champion earlier this week, finished on the third step of the podium today. He advanced to one of the bronze medal finals, where he bested Jonathan Loynaz of Cuba.

In the same weight class, his teammate Marc Deschênes bowed out to Ecuador’s Freddy Figueroa in the other bronze medal final and finished fifth in the standings.

Earlier in the day, Deschênes had defeated Messé A Bessong in a previous bout, but his semi-final loss to Cuba’s Andy Granda relegated him to the bronze medal final.

In other Canadian results of the day, Louis Krieber-Gagnon lost the under-90 kg bronze medal final.

On the women’s side, Laurence Biron (-70 kg) was limited to one bout on Saturday, where she bowed out to Jamaica’s Ebony Drysdale Daley.

Despite losing to Colombia’s Brenda Olaya, Coralie Godbout (-78 kg) advanced to the repechage. However, she was beaten by waza-ari by Vanessa Chala of Ecuador, who took bronze at the end of the day.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

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

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