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Good start for Canadian judokas

Montréal, September 8, 2012 – The Canadian judo team took home five medals on the first day of competition, Friday, at the U17 and U20 Pan-American Championships presented in Cali, Colombia.

In the under 17 tourney, Benjamin Dennis (55 kg), David Boucher (73 kg) and Louis Krieber-Gagnon (81 kg) all won silver medals in their respective weight classes.

After defeating his first three opponents, Benjamin Dennis lost in the final to the Brazilian Santos. David Boucher also lost in the gold medal bout, falling to a Brazilian judoka after winning his first two fights.  Louis Kreiber-Gagnon finished his day with the same record as his teammate Boucher, that of two wins and a loss.  He was defeated in the final, losing to the Colombian Montoya.

Still in the U17’s, Abby Lloyd (48kg) and Eve Brochu-Joubert (57kg) both came away with bronze medals. Lloyd beat the Venezuelan Gutierrez in her final bout, and finished her competition with a record of three wins and one loss. As for Brochu-Joubert, a victory against the Guatemalan Lorenzana in her third bout of the day was enough to secure her position on the podium.

Other Canadians judokas with notable results on the day were Torin MacFadyen (50 kg) and Jasmine Pitsilis (63 kg), who both finished 5th in their respective divisions.

Also in action, Gueorgui Poklitar (60 kg), Bradley Langlois (66 kg), Aleksandra Surbey (44 kg) and Colleen Welch (70 kg) were all unable to obtain a classification.

“Canada can be proud of this first day of competition, especially since it’s one of the bigger U17 Pan-American Championships. There are a lot of entrants and the level of competition is fairly high,” Canadian coach Marie-Hélène Chisholm noted.

“The kids really battled today. Three boys pushed hard for gold medals, but unfortunately came up short in their final bouts. In Louis’ case, it should be pointed out that the referees favored the hometown upstart, the Colombian, which changed the complexion of the bout,” Chisholm added. With the heat and extensive waiting periods between bouts, the conditions were less than preferable, but the youngsters performed admirably. For many of them it was their very first international competition.”

The U20 Canadian judokas will start their competition on Saturday, in Colombia.