Silver Medallist Shady ElNahas Makes First Appearance on World Championships Podium!

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Although Shady ElNahas has competed at the Senior World Championships four times in the past, he has never made it onto the podium… until today! The Ontarian clinched the silver medal on Thursday in the under-100 kg category in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Photo: IJF / Di Feliciantonio Emanuele

“Honestly, I can finally breathe. I’m happy and proud to have won a World Championships medal, but I’m still not completely satisfied. I want gold, and I’m going to work with my coach Antoine [Valois-Fortier] to attain the ultimate goal: Olympic gold.”

Pitted against Azerbaijan’s Zelym Kotsoiev in the big final, the Canadian had to contend with his opponent’s fierce attacks right out of the gate. When Kotsoiev scored a waza-ari after only one minute, ElNahas intensified his efforts to regain control of the bout, but his opponent, the 2017 world junior champion, deflected each one of his attempts.

Before facing Kotsoiev on Thursday, ElNahas went on a four-bout winning streak. He defeated Aaron Fara of Austria, Zelimkhan Bashaev of Bahrain, and eventual bronze medallist Dota Arai of Japan before squaring off against his compatriot Kyle Reyes in the semi-final, in a bout that went into overtime. Reyes received three penalties, enabling ElNahas to advance to the gold medal final.

Reyes then fought Nikoloz Sherazadishvili of Spain for a bronze medal. The two judokas were neck and neck for most of the match, which went into overtime. Ultimately, Reyes met the same fate he had in the semi-final when he received a third penalty, conceding the victory to Sherazadishvili.

Today’s fifth-place finish constitutes Reyes’ second-best career World Championships result. He finished second in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 2022.

Earlier today, Reyes defeated Zlatko Kumric of Croatia, Simeon Catharina of the Netherlands, and Dzhakhongir Madzhidov of Tajikistan in back-to-back bouts.

Also today, Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi (+78 kg) competed in her first World Championships since 2017. Unfortunately, the Québécoise was limited to just one bout in Abu Dhabi, as she lost her first and only fight of the day to Tulika Maan of India.

The Canadian team will depart the United Arab Emirates with a total of three medals. ElNahas and Christa Deguchi each won silver, and Jessica Klimkait won bronze.

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