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Tokyo Grand Slam : Morin-Martel places 9th, Zupancic and Valois-Fortier upset

Montréal, November 30th, 2013 – Alexis Morin-Martel won one bout while Kelita Zupancic and Antoine Valois-Fortier were upset in their opening matches, in what was a disappointing outing for the Canadian judokas, Saturday, at the Tokyo Grand Slam in Japan.

Competing in the under 73 kg division, Morin-Martel, 40th in the international standings, defeated the Mozambican Edson Madeira before being eliminated by the Brazilian Alex William Pombo Da Silva, ranked 21stoverall. The Quebecer would eventually finish in 9th place.

Ranked 2nd in the under 70 kg category, Zupancic was taken out early by the Japanese judoka Chizuru Arai (28th). The Ontarian wasn’t the only one upset by the Japanese, who would go on to claim the gold medal in impressive fashion.

As for Valois-Fortier, 12th in the international standings in the under 81 kg class, he would end up losing a tight first round battle with the South Korean Seungsu Lee, 70th in the world.

Finally, in the under 73 kg category, Étienne Briand (73rd) also from Québec, lost in his one and only bout, falling to the 58th ranked South Korean, Yong Jeong Kim.

“Alexis easily beat the judoka from Mozambique before losing to the Brazilian by a chokehold. It was a similar scenario for Kelita, who was winning her fight with the Japanese before she unfortunately got taken to ground for an ippon,” Canadian coach Nicolas Gill explained.

“In Antoine’s case, he lost a bout that was hotly contested. Leading by two penalties to one with just nine seconds left, he may have gotten a bit too conservative, and ended up taking a second penalty. About 45 seconds into overtime he got cornered by an attack from the Korean, who managed to score a waza-ari.”

“Overall, it was disappointing day for everybody,” the Canadian coach concluded.

Sunday will feature the under 100 kg junior world champion, Kyle Reyes.

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Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada