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Antoine Bouchard wins silver in Poland

Montréal, July 19, 2014 – Antoine Bouchard came away with a 2nd place finish in the under 66 kg category, Saturday, on day 1 of the Junior European Cup presented in Wroclaw, Poland. In the gold medal finale, Bouchard succumbed to defeat at the hands of the German Martin Setz.

In the semifinal, the product of Saguenay went up against his teammate Philippe Desjardins. Still in contention for a medal after his loss to Bouchard, Desjardins went to work in one of the two bronze medal bouts. The Canadian would eventually come up short, losing to the German Christoph Siegel.  He would settle for a 5th place finish.

“Even though it was a close fight, I felt like I was dominating. My opponent only had one clear-cut opportunity to score a point, and in the end he made the most of it,” the silver medalist explained.

“I got a bit impatient after the referee gave me a shido, and I started following my opponent around too much. That’s when he got me. He scored a waza-ari in the middle of the bout, and I wasn’t able to come back after that.”

The all-Canadian semifinal was a replay of the last Canadian Championships finale.

“At the Nationals, I had a lot of difficulty coming away with a victory. Today (Saturday) I followed my game-plan to a tee and things went really well,” added Bouchard, who feels that having gone toe-toe against a majority of the best judokas during his European tour has helped him prepare for the upcoming Junior World Championships.

On the women’s side, Jessica Klimkait came ever so close to claiming a bronze medal in the under 57 kg class. In the small final, the native of Whitby, Ontario was defeated by the German Amelie Stoll. Earlier in the semifinal, Klimkait fell to the Japanese Momo Tamaoki.

It should be noted that all three Canadians who competed in a bronze medal match lost to German judokas.

“Germany fielded a really strong team at this tournament with a number of good athletes. They were all a notch above today (Saturday),” coach and ex-judoka Sasha Mehmedovic, who is present this weekend in Wroclaw, commented.

Mahmoud Ossama (-55 kg, 2-2) was the other Canadian in action who received a classification, ending his day with a 9th place finish.

The Canadians who walked away from the competition empty-handed were Briana McCracken (-52 kg, 0-2), Gueorgui Poklitar (-66 kg, 0-1), Patrick Cantin (- 73 kg, 1-2) and Bradley Langlois (- 73 kg, 0-1).

The Junior European Cup will conclude on Sunday.