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Amy Cotton wins Silver in Miami World Cup

Montreal’s Amy Cotton took the silver medal in the Under 78 kg, Saturday at the Miami, (FLA) World Cup. The eventual gold medallist was American Kayla Harrison – ranked third in the world – who bested the Canadian in final round.

The Montreal native is currently ranked 17th in the world, and earned a pass into the first round where she took on American judoka Jane Lock in her first match. In the semi-final, Cotton fought China’s Zhehui Zhang, but unlike last week’s competition in San Paolo Brazil, it was Cotton who won the match with a Yuko. In the final, American Kayla Harrison won against Cotton with a Waza-ari; it was also the former who beat Canadians Catherine Roberge and Bishop Sommerfeld Saturday.

“The match with Harrison was rather tight, but her (Cotton’s) victory over the Chinese judoka was a bit of revenge from last weekend. All in all, Amy delivered a solid performance,” indicated coach Nicolas Gill.

Catherine Roberge began her weekend on a high note with victories against the Fiji Island’s Sisilia Naisiga, and Spain’s Raquel Prieto Madrigal. Relegated to the bronze medal round after a defeat by Harrison, Roberge faced Venezuela’s Kelvi Pinto and bested her to win the bronze medal.

In the Under 70 kg, Ontario’s Kelita Zupancic (currently ranked11th in the world) had a series of strong performances. After having easily won her first two matches against American judoka Laquinta Allen and Poland’s Katarzyna Klys, Zupancic was defeated by Columbia’s Yuri Alvear (ranked 8th in the world). Brazil’s Maria Portela pushed Zupancic further from the podium; the latter had to settle for fifth place in today’s competition.

Alexandre Émond won a third medal – a bronze – for Team Canada in Miami in the Under 90 kg category. The Quebec native who is currently ranked 21st in the world, defeated Slovakia’s Milan Rand in the bronze medal round.

“I won against Rand last year at the World Championships, and I knew to expect a solid match because he’s a skilled athlete. The match was relatively even, but towards the end he seemed to become tired. When there was only about forty seconds left I performed a Waza-ari to earn the victory,” commented Émond.

Émond won his first matched prior to losing in the semi-final against Brazil’s Hugo Pessanha (ranked 8th in the world in his category). “I’m really happy with my performance today, it was my first competition in two months because I had a neck injury. Today’s results are encouraging.”

Kalem Kachur also performed well in the Under 81 kg category, finishing in 5th place. The Quebec native (ranked 51st) won his first three matches prior to losing against Brazil’s Nacif Elias. Kachur was subsequently defeated by Hungary’s Sandor Nagysolymosi.

Other Canadians in action on the tatami on Saturday: Bishop Sommerfeld (Under 78kg) and Stefan Zwiers (Under 100 kg) finished 7th in their respective categories. Yacinta Nguyen-Huu (Under 70 kg), Scott McGrandle (Under 81 kg) Guillaume Perrault (Under 81 kg) and James MacManus (Over 100kg) did not achieve rankings.

A Strong Beginning

Judokas Sasha Mehmedovic, Nicholas Tritton and Joliane Melançon set the stage for their teamates on Friday, with all three athletes earning bronze medals.

In the Under 66 kg category, Sasha Mehmedovic took the third step on the podium defeating American Austin Cook and Monaco’s Cédric Bessi, before being beaten himself by Brazil’s Leandro Cunha. In overtime, Mehmedovic defeated Peru’s Alons Wong, and kept his winning momentum going with a victory against Russia’s Alimbek Gadanov.

In the Under 73 kg, Montreal’s Nicholas Tritton earned a pass into the first round to defeat Chile’s Fernando Salazar and Bosnia-Herzogovia’s Mitar Mrdic before being beaten by Slovenia’s Saso Jereb. Tritton then bested Romania’s Costel Danculea in overtime, as well as Spain’s Kiyoshi Uematsu to go on to earn bronze.

Frazer Will (Under 60 kg) took fifth place after passing directly into the first round to face Venezuela’s Javier Guedez; Peru’s Juan Postigos then won in Ippon against the Canadian. In overtime, the Quebec native beat Australia’s Matthew Daquino and then Switzerland’s Ludovic Chammartin.

Not to be outdone, Joliane Melançon also takes home a bronze medal after wins over Hungary’s Cergia David and Australia’s Carli Renzi to earn a semi-final berth. American athlete Marti Mallow then put a stop to Melançon’s progress with a win, but the Quebec native earned her medal with a win against Mongolia’s Sumiya Dorjsuren.

Isabel Latulippe (Under 48 kg), Jordan Poliakiwski ( Under 52 kg), Stefanie Tremblay (Under 63 kg), Diego Sanchez (Under 60 kg), Charles Breton-Leduc (Under 60 kg), Alexis Morin-Martel (Under 73 kg) Justin Imagawa (Under 73 kg) were not ranked.