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Sergio Pessoa comes up a bit short

Montréal, August 26, 2013 (Sportcom) – On the first day of competition at the Judo World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Montrealer Sergio Pessoa had his tournament come to an end after winning two of his three bouts, Monday.

In his first contest, the Canadian won by ippon against the Yemeni Ali Khousrof. Pessoa then went on to beat the Belorussian Arif Bagirov, this time by a yuko. The Olympian’s run would come to an end, however, as he would fall to eventual bronze medalist Won Jin Kim of South Korea, who secured the victory with under a minute left in regulation by ippon.

“I had a very short break of fifteen minutes between my second and third bout. I didn’t feel a 100% at the beginning of the bout, but I thought it still went pretty well,” Pessoa explained after losing to his southpaw opponent.

“My condition weakened as the fight moved along and my opponent took advantage by forcing me into penalties. I didn’t think the ippon he scored was the right call. That said, even if it hadn’t counted, it still would have been difficult for me to come back. It was a good contest, but I was lacking some strength near the end.  I put in a good performance and I feel like I’m inching closer to the worlds best. Still, I would have really like to have qualified for the quarterfinals.”

In hindsight, the Canadian admits he should have taken on more southpaws in training over the last few months.

Of Brazilian origin, Sergio Pessoa had the opportunity to compete in front of family and friends.

“During the fights I was completely focused on the task at hand and the only person I heard was my coach. It was nice for those people to see me in action though, because they don’t get the opportunity very often.”

Patrick Gagné and Sasha Mehmedovic will be the two Canadians in action, Tuesday, both fighting in the under 66 kg class.