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Düsseldorf Grand Prix – Day to forget for the Canadian contingent

Montréal, February 23, 2013 – The Canadian judokas struggled on Saturday, at the Düsseldorf Grand Prix in Germany.  None of the athletes in action were able to register a victory on the day.

In the under 57 kg category, Joliane Melançon, 12th in the world, lost by ippon to the Romanian Loredana Ohai, 33rd overall. It was the Frenchwoman Automne Pavia, top judoka in the international standings that would finally get the better of the Romanian in the semi-finals.

Ohai would go on to lose in the bronze medal match, falling to the Korean Jan-Di Kim.

On the men’s side, Patrick Gagné (44th) fell by way of ippon to the Russian Kamal Khan-Magomedov, who currently sits 21st in the under 66 kg division. Sasha Mehmedovic (27th) was upset by the 66th ranked Romanian Laszlo Szoke.

In the Under 73 kg class, Alexis Morin-Martel, 28th overall, was beaten by the Romanian Costel Danculea. Arthur Margelidon, who sits 83rd in the world, suffered defeat at the hands of the German Julian Kolein.

“It was a tough day today, national coach Nicolas Gill said.  For judokas Arthur Margelidon, Patrick Gagné and Alexis Morin-Martel, it was the last stage of a grueling tour, and we definitely saw signs of fatigue.  These are young athletes who are participating in their very first winter European tour, a segment of the season that is by far the most difficult. In the cases of Joliane and Sasha, they’re both still trying to find their stride after the long, post-Olympic layoff.”

Sunday, Catherine Roberge, 11th in the world at under 78 kg, along with Kelita Zupancic, 7th in the under 70 kg division, will be in action. Antoine Valois-Fortier, 12th in the under 81 kg class, will also be plying his trade on the tatamis.