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Learning the hard way

Montréal, November 3rd, 2011 – Travel broadens the mind, or so the saying goes. This rings particularly true for the Canadian judokas in action on Thursday, Whitney Lohnes, Antoine Bouchard, Youssef Youssef and Mahdi Zeghir. There’s no doubt that they’ll all walk away from this Junior Judo World Championships, presented in Cape Town, South Africa, with a wealth of hard fought, new experiences.

The Nova Scotia native Lohnes, Quebecer Bouchard and Ontarian Youssef, all managed to win their first bouts, but were all three eliminated in the next round. As for the Quebecer Zeghir, he would lose his one and only bout of the competition.

“Obviously we would have wanted more than one victory per athlete, but in general, our Canadians fought quite well,” national coach Marie-Hélène Chisholm explained.

In the under 48 kg class, Lohnes won her first fight with a yuko against the American Syria Rhodes, but fell by the same score to the Brazilian Nathalia Brigida, in the following bout.

“This is Whitney’s second go-round at the junior world championships, and she’s progressed well since last year,” Chisholm affirmed.

As for Bouchard, this was his first foray into the competition. Fighting in the under 60 kg division, he inherited an ippon versus the Uzbek Olimboy Olimov before succumbing to the Egyptian Mohamed Abdelmawgoud, also by ippon.

“Antoine won his first match because Olimov disqualified himself in the final seconds of the bout after he pulled at his pants,” the national coach said, pointing out that Bouchard had controlled the bout up to that instance. “Against the Egyptian, he was caught off guard at the end of the first minute, taken to ground by a standing ippon.”

In the under 55 kg class, Youssef began his day with a win by decision over the Ukrainian Daman Sagalov, but the Taiwanese Ming Yen Tsai got the better of him in his next fight, ending his day with an ippon.

“At the same event last year, Youssef lasted only a few seconds in his first and only fight. Today (Thursday), he fought really hard to win his first bout before being caught on the back foot by the speedy Taiwanese,” Chisholm concluded.

Also in the under 55 kg category, Zeghir was quickly taken out by the Georgian George Masablishvili, who scored two waza-aris to win by ippon. The latter would go on to capture one of the two bronze medals in this division.

“It was Mahdi’s very first go-round in this international competition. Unfortunately, he was unable to really showcase his abilities,” the coach resumed.

New Brunswicker Vanessa St-Pierre (52 kg), Ontarian Nicole Jenicek (57 kg) as well as Quebecers Michael Fortin-Demers (66 kg) and Arthur Margelidon (73 kg) will defend the colours of our nation on Friday.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada