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Mehmedovic and Pessoa Fifth in Moscow

Montreal, May 26, 2012 (Sportcom) – Canadian judokas Sasha Mehmedovic and Sergio Pessoa Jr. both achieved fifth place rankings, Saturday, and the Moscow Judo Grand Slam taking place this weekend in Russia.

“It should have been a better day for me.  I felt good and I fought well, but a tiny mistake cost me dearly,” admitted Sasha Mehmedovic, presently ranked 23rd in the world.  Mehmedovic was halted in the quarter-final by Uzbekistan’s Mirzahid Farmonov, himself ranked 27th in the world.

At equal scores after five minutes of regulation time, the two judokas went all the way to the last minute of overtime to settle their duel.  Mehmedovic was leading the bout thanks to his opponent’s penalty, yet was finally the one that fell – by Ippon.  “I felt like I controlled the whole match, and I was actually winning by a penalty but I got caught in an Ippon because of a gripping mistake,” lamented the Canadian. 

The 27 year-old athlete benefited from a pass into the first round, and easily bettered Uzbekistani judoka Hamidjon Muminov in the round of the last sixteen – taking only 57 seconds to win the match.  “ My first match against another Uzbekistani athlete (Muminov) was quick, I managed to pin him for a full point in the first minute of the match.”

In the Under 60 kg category, Sergio Pessoa Jr. kept the heat on up to the quarter-final round.  Pessoa’s competitor, Mongolia’s Boldbaatar Ganbat, was the only athlete of the two able to score points during the five minute match on the tatami.  Ganbat won the match by Yuko, which also eliminated the Quebecois judoka who had to settle for fifth place.   

The Moscow Judo Grand Slam continues Sunday, with Canadians Amy Cotton, Kelita Zupancic, Alexandre Émond and Antoine Valois-Fortier stepping on to the tatami for their bouts.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada