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World Championships – Bouchard and Gagné fall in opening matches

Montréal, August 26, 2014 — Antoine Bouchard and Patrick Gagné succumbed to defeat in their first duels, Tuesday, at the Judo World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, but despite their relative inexperience, both Quebecers showed well in their respective matches.

In the under 66 kg category, Bouchard, ranked 41st in the international standings, gave the 4th ranked Mongol Tumurkhuleg Davaadorj all he could handle, pushing him to the 5-minute limit. Davaadorj managed to win right at the last, scoring a match-winning waza-ari in the dying seconds.

“Overall, it was a decent performance, even though I made a few mistakes,” explained the judoka, who was competing in his very first senior world championships.

“I will try to learn from these mistakes, and come back even stronger,” concluded Bouchard, 20, who celebrated his birthday on Sunday.

Gagné meanwhile, rated 17th in the same division, put in a strong performance against the Belorussian Dzmitry Shershan (13th). Unfortunately for the Quebecer, his opponent came out on top, thanks to an ippon with less a minute to spare in regulation time.

“You can’t expect to win if you miss that many chances,” acknowledged the 2013 Pan-American runner-up, who turned 23 on Monday.

After the defeat, Gagné made a promise to his supporters who sent him words of encouragement: “For the next world championships, I’m going to do everything in my power to bring home a much better result!”

The gold medal would eventually go to the Japanese Masashi Ebinuma (two-time defending world champion), who came away victorious against the Russian Mikhail Pulyaev. Claiming the bronze medals were the Ukrainian Georgii Zantaraia and the Russian Kamal Khan-Magomedov.

As for Davaadorj and Shershan, both their tourneys came to an end in the round of 16.

Four Canadian judokas will be in action on Wednesday in Chelyabinsk. Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard and Stéfanie Tremblay will take to the tatamis in the under 57 kg class, while Étienne Briand and Alexis Morin-Martel will ply their trade in the under 73 kg category.

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Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada