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Four Canadians on the podium in Arlon

Montréal, February 2, 2014 (Sportcom) — Ecaterina Guica, Monika Burgess, Catherine Roberge and Stéfanie Tremblay all walked away with medals at the Arlon Judo Open, Sunday, presented in Belgium. Guica struck for gold in the under 52 kg class, while Burgess came up just short at -70 kg, finishing 2nd. Roberge (-78 kg) and Tremblay (-57 kg) also made the podium, each finishing with a bronze medal in their respective categories.

“Ecacterina took down some extremely tough judokas, and this win assures her participation in the next World Championships,” Canadian coach Jérémy Le Bris explained.

In the finale, Guica defeated the Frenchwoman Julia Rosso, an impressive sixth victory of the day for the Canadian.

In the semifinals of the under 70 kg division, Monika Burgess beat the Cuban Onix Cortes, which qualified her for the grand finale. “It was a close fight and Monika showed that she could go far in this tournament. In the gold medal match, she found herself up against an ex-European champion, the German Heide Wollert,” the coach elaborated.

With the silver medal, Burgess booked her spot alongside teammate Ecaterina Guica at the next World Championships. The event will take place in Chelyabinsk, Russia, near the end of August.

Returning to competition after a six-month layoff, Catherine Roberge came away with a bronze medal. The Olympian was defeated by a junior judoka, the Frenchwoman Samah Hawa Camara, who would eventually go on to claim gold. Also in the under 78 kg class, Sarah-Myriam Mazouz finished with a 5th place classification.

Like Roberge, Stéfanie Tremblay also finished in 3rd, here in the -57 kg category. After falling at the hands of the Finn Laura Jaunianen in the semifinal, Tremblay won her last bout of the day against Satu Lehikoinen, also from Finland.

Jessica Klimkait (-57 kg, 2-2), Alix Renaud-Roy (-70 kg, 2-2) and Ana Laura Portuondo-Isasi (-78 kg, 2-1) finished 16th in their respective divisions.

Elsewhere, Alicia Briggs (-52 kg, 0-2), Béatrice Valois-Fortier (-63 kg, 1-2), Jaquina Simao (-63 kg, 0-2) and Sophie Vaillancourt (+78 kg, 0-2) all walked away from the competition without a classification.

Alister Ward top Canadian in Visé

At the men’s tourney presented in Visé, also in Belgium, Alister Ward (-66 kg) went home with the best Canadian result of the day, a 5th place classification. Beaten in the preliminary round by the eventual silver medalist, the Frenchman Jefferson Soler, Ward fell in his last bout against another Frenchman, Hugo Fonghetti. Meanwhile, Patrick Gagné settled for a 7th place finish after putting together a record of four wins and two losses.

“Alister had a grueling day where he stepped on to the tatamis six times. He had a shot at the bronze medal in the repechage, where he took on Hugo Fonghetti,” coach Sasha Mehmedovic commented. “Alister took the lead in the fight but couldn’t maintain the same energy throughout, and eventually was beaten by an ippon in the last two minutes of the bout. Despite the loss, it was a solid result for Alister.”

Also in action, Antoine Bouchard (-66 kg, 0-1), Charles Breton-Leduc (-60 kg, 1-2) and Jonah Burt (-81 kg, 0-1,) did not receive a classification.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada