Grand Slam – Silver for Valois-Fortier, bronze for Zupancic
Montreal, November 1rst, 2014 – After two months off, the Quebecois judoka Antoine Valois-Fortier added a silver medal to his collection on Sunday, at the Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Kelita Zupancic, from Ontario, won a bronze medal.
Valois-Fortier, ranked 4th in the under 81 kg category, lost by ippon in the final against the Russian Ivan Nifontov. It wasn’t his first loss against Nifontov.
“I don’t know why I can’t beat him,” said Valois-Fortier. “I think it’s because he turns left as much as he turns right and it’s hard for me to deal with this.”
During the preliminaries, the 2014 World Championships silver medalist had a perfect score against the Pole Lukasz Blach and the Hungarian Laszlo Csoknyai. In the semi-final, he won by waza-ari against the French Alain Schmitt.
“Overall, I’m happy with today. Of course I would have loved to win the final, but I still won against strong competitors. After the World Championships, at the end of August, I took a break. I wasn’t in the same shape I usually am. This result is all the more satisfying.” said the Quebecois, who won the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Next month, Valois-Fortier would like to win the gold medal at the Grand Slam in Tokyo, Japan.
In the under 70 kg, Zupancic had a perfect score until the semi-final. During the preliminaries, the one who’s ranked 4th in the world won against the French Estelle Fanny Posvite and the Briton Megan Fletcher. She then lost with a penalty in the semi-final against the Austrian Bernadette Graf.
She got back in the repechage and won the bronze medal by forcing the Mongolian Naranjargal Tsend Ayush to take a penalty.
“Kelita fought well,” said Valois-Fortier. “Abu Dhabi was a comeback after a break for her as well. Her result is good. Winning a bronze medal in a Grand Slam is really good.”
The Quebecois Arthur Margelidon and Alexis Morin-Martel, in the under 73 kg category, didn’t reach the podium.
Morin-Martel, ranked 25th, was eliminated after his first bout. He lost by ippon against the Spanish Javier Ramirez in a 12-second bout.
Margelidon, ranked 53rd, fought twice. He won by ippon against the Monegasque Cedric Bessi, but then lost against the Azerbaijani, who also won by ippon.
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Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada