Fifth Place and Adjustments to Make for Olympics

Montréal Prepares to Host Open National Championships Once Again
21 May 2024
Louis Krieber-Gagnon Defeated in First Round
22 May 2024

Montréal, May 21, 2024 – On Tuesday, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard ended the day in fifth place in the under-63 kg weight class at the Judo World Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The world’s top-ranked judoka in her weight class finished the day at the foot of the podium after losing her bronze medal match to Kosovo’s Laura Fazliu by waza-ari.

Photo: IJF, Tamara Kulumbegashvili
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (in blue) congratulate Laura Fazliu.

In a tight, vigorous bout, Beauchemin-Pinard was unable to break through the impenetrable defences of her opponent, who gained the upper hand by preventing her from attacking.

“I have some things to work on for the Olympics, which is a good thing. Yes, I’m a bit disappointed, because I would have liked to finish on the podium, but I don’t think this fifth-place finish will affect my morale,” explained Beauchemin-Pinard.

Halfway through the bout, the Canadian attacked Fazliu, who managed to flip Beauchemin-Pinard over and cause her to land on her side, scoring a waza-ari. Then, with less than a minute to go, 2022 runner-up world champion Beauchemin-Pinard received a second penalty. Fazliu then played the clock until the time ran out.

“Until she scored that point, I was feeling confident. My attacks were good and I didn’t make too many errors. As for the attack that she countered, it was the right attack to make, but I guess I lacked a bit of pressure on the shoulder. My execution also lacked some of precision and detail. She was quick enough and good enough to turn around quickly,” added Beauchemin-Pinard.

In the quarter-final, the Montrealer had defeated defending Olympic champion and 2023 world champion Clarisse Agbegnenou of France by waza-ari. Agbegnenou captured today’s other bronze medal.

“I hadn’t yet beaten Clarisse [in five match-ups], so that was one of the highlights of my day. I was happy with that bout. After that, I expected to make it to the gold medal final, but my fatigue ended up catching up with me.”

In the semi-final, Beauchemin-Pinard bowed out to 21-year-old Joanne Van Lieshout of the Netherlands, who later defeated Angelika Szymanska of Poland in the big final. Earlier, the Québécoise had defeated Renata Zachova of the Czech Republic and Barbara Timo of Portugal.

Canadian coach Antoine Valois-Fortier is already considering the lessons that can be drawn from today’s experience.

“I’m going to look at this as a perfect practice session. Right from the beginning of the day, [Catherine] fought some very high-level opponents, and she had three strong wins in a row, including the most important one, against [Agbegnenou]. Mentally, that was an important step for her to take.”

The 29-year-old is expected to represent Canada at the Olympic Games for the third time in her career. Her first two appearances were in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. She won a bronze medal in the Japanese capital. According to Beauchemin-Pinard, the under-63 kg Olympic judo tournament is scheduled to take place in exactly ten weeks’ time.

“That gives me enough time to deal with these losses. I didn’t get on the podium, as I would have liked, but I can draw on today’s good points,” she concluded.

In the men’s under-81 kg category, François Gauthier-Drapeau finished with a record of 2-1 and did not rank.

The 26-year-old athlete began his day with a victory by ippon over Jorge Perez of Chile. He repeated the feat against Greece’s Athanasios Mylonelis in the round of 32, but his day came to an end when 2019 junior runner-up world champion David Karapetyan of Russia defeated him by ippon.

“François had two good early fights and dominated his bouts, winning on penalties. However, the Russian is left-handed and has a style that [François] really struggles with,” said Valois-Fortier of Gauthier-Drapeau, who finished fifth at last year’s world championships, in Doha.

“It was a difficult fight for François, and we’ll have to make some adjustments. But there’s no doubt in my mind that François is one of the elite. Now it’s just a matter of getting everything in order for the big day.”

Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-90 kg) will be the only Canadian in action on Wednesday at the World Championships.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

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

Subscribe to our newsletter – Inscription à notre infolettre

Subscribe to our newsletter – Inscription à notre infolettre

Subscribe to our newsletter – Inscription à notre infolettre