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Catherine Roberge triumphs in Prague

Montréal, March 3, 2013 – Catherine Roberge continued her European tour with a victory Sunday, taking home top honours at the Judo European Open presented in Prague, Czech Republic.

Roberge, who currently ranks 13th in the under 78 kg class, defeated the Russian Anastasia Dmitrieva (109th) by ippon to claim the gold medal.

Roberge reached the final by disposing of the Kazakh Albina Amangeldiyeva by ippon before taking down the Dutchwoman Martine Denkes by waza-ari.

“I’m really happy with my performance today, and it definitely puts an exclamation point on my European tour, the Quebecoise athlete explained. The fact that I was able to score points with different techniques is what’s most satisfying for me. I stuck to my game plan and managed to commit fewer errors than my opponents.”

In the semi-finals, Roberge continued her excellent work with a commanding display against the 32nd ranked Frenchwoman Géraldine Mentouopou, winning by ippon. Mentouopou, along with the Hungarian Abigel Joo, would go on to claim bronze medals.

“I had never faced the Frenchwoman, but I knew she’d put together a string of decent performances, she added. She’s big and has a long reach. I took the first penalty and my coach (her brother Patrick) told me to change the positioning of my hands. From that moment on I controlled the bout.”

Tougher day for Melançon and Jenicek

On Saturday, Joliane Melançon, ranked 14th in the international standings, lost her very first match to the 132nd ranked Azerbaijan judoka Shahana Huseynova, falling by way of an ippon in the under 57 kg category.

Before succumbing to defeat, Melançon had scored a yuko, but had also committed two costly fouls.

Also in the under 57 kg division, Nicole Jenicek failed to do better than her compatriot.

The Ontarian, ranked 82nd overall, also lost her first bout, losing by ippon to the Frenchwoman, Priscilla Gneto.