Junior European Cup: Antoine Bouchard walks away with gold in Portugal
Montréal, March 15, 2014 – Antoine Bouchard was the cream of the crop in the under 66 kg class, Saturday, at the Junior European Cup presented in Coimbra, Portugal. The judoka from Jonquière, Québec was a dominant force over the course of his six bouts. In the finale, he got the better of the Israeli Rodeon Golod. In the semis, Bouchard took down the Portuguese Vasco Santos, winning by ippon.
In the same category, Canadians Colton Hall, Philippe Desjardins and Vincent Blais-Shiokawa did not receive a classification after all three registered two wins and two losses.
“In the gold medal match, I managed to gain control of the match with my grip and hold techniques. He couldn’t find a way to make any quality attacks, and I decided not to force anything, because I knew he was good on the counter-attack,” explained the gold medalist, who has now climbed onto the podium in Coimbra three years in a row.
In analyzing his day, Bouchard was also proud of his performance in the semifinals, where he had to come from behind against his opponent. “The crowd was loud and the judges seemed to be leaning in his favour. He scored two yukos in a minute, and I was able to respond with a waza-ari, a yuko and an ippon two minutes later.”
The other Canadian medalist on the day was Jessica Klimkait, who was competing in the under 57 kg division. Klimkait, from Whitby (Ontario), came away with a bronze medal. Her only defeat, after finishing the tournament with a record of 5-1, was against the Italian Maria Centracchio in the semis. In her final bout of the day, Klimkait rebounded with a win against the Israeli Timna Nelson Levy.
Also in the under 57 kg category, Eugénie Lemieux (2-2), Cassidy Norris (1-1) and Jasmine Pitsilis (1-1) all failed to receive a classification.
Meanwhile, Darren Dequan Elcock (4-2) finished his tourney with a 7th place finish in the under 60 kg class. In the same division, Yassin Youssef (2-2) along with Anthony Pepin (0-1) did not classify.
In the under 73 kg category, Bradley Langlois (2-2), Patrick Cantin (0-1) and David Boucher (0-2) did not receive a classification. Finally, in the under 48 kg class, Abby Lloyd lost in her one and only bout.
The Junior European Cup of Judo will conclude Sunday, in Coimbra.