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US Open : A nice medal run for the Canadian judokas

Montréal, May 13th, 2012 – It was a very long day, Saturday, for the Canadian judokas at the US Open in Miami, Florida, but it was well worth it. When it was all said and done, 12 of the 29 athletes that were in action on American soil went home with a medal.

Guillaume Perrault made a big impression in the under 90 kg class.  The Quebecer beat Americans Bryan Acosta and Andrew Hung, as well as his own teammate Valadymyr Semyrozum to reach the final.  He came away victorious in the gold medal match, defeating the American Kensuke Moriyama for the title.

“Guillaume hasn’t been competing in this division for very long, and now he’s had two days in a row of really good results.  I think he’s starting to get a lay of the land and gain a lot of confidence at the same time.  He can see that he has what it takes to beat the top tier judokas in this class,” coach Marie-Hélène Chisholm indicated.

Tony Walby (+ 100 kg) also climbed to the top of the podium in his category. Two wins, one against the Mexican Juan Villalobos and the other versus the Puerto Rican Rafael Ferrer, were enough to claim the gold medal.

Patrick Gagné (-66 kg), Justin Fumiya Imagawa (-73 kg), Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-81) kg and Valadymyr Semyrozum (-90 kg) all did well in their respective divisions, each winning a bronze medal.

“Louis’s performance is particularly remarkable.  He’s still just a cadet, and it’s quite rare for someone his age to perform that well against senior judokas.  He’s just 16 years old.  It’s a really big surprise for us today,” Chisholm explained.

Étienne Briand (-73 kg) won three of his five bouts to finish the competition in fifth place. Dilyaver Sheykhislyamov (-90 kg) and Nedjo Sarenac (-100 kg) also went home with fifth place finishes in their respective categories.

Patrick Cantin (- 66 kg) and Arthur Margelidon (-73 kg) each finished with a record of two wins and two losses, good enough for 7th place classifications.

Also in action, Antoine Bouchard (-66 kg), Scott McGrandle (-81 kg), and Emin Sheykhislyamov (-90 kg) were unable to come away with classifications.

The women’s team impresses as well

On the women’s side, Ana Laura Portuondo-Isasi was an impenetrable force in the under 78 kg class.  The Canadian won both her bouts by ippon versus the American Suzie Rizek as well as her own teammate, Bishop Sommerfield, to win the gold medal.  Despite the loss, Sommerfield would leave Miami with a medal of her won, that of the silver variety.

“Ana Laura is very young. She’s still just a cadet.  Despite the fact that there are only three in her class, she still had to show that she was the best, and she did just that, easily winning her bouts.  It’s a very good result for her,” Chisholm confirmed.

Elsewhere, Whitney Lohnes (-48 kg), Nicole Jenicek (-57 kg), Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-63 kg) and Alix Renaud-Roy (-70 kg) all put together solid performances, each garnering themselves bronze medals.

“Catherine, who’s also a junior judoka, was in a fairly competitive division. It was a very good result she was able to obtain today,” Chisholm noted.

As for, Andréa Magnett (-52 kg), Stéfanie Tremblay (-63 kg), and Megan Nagy (-63 kg), each finished their competition in 5th place, all three posting records of two wins and two losses in their respective categories.

Also in action, Audrée Françis-Méthot (-52 kg), Ecaterina Guica (-57 kg), Lisa Nakajima (-63 kg), Élodie Lavoie (-63 kg), Sarah Myriam Mazouz (-70 kg) and Yacinta Nguyen-Huu (-70 kg) were unable to receive classifications.