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Jessica Klimkait dominates in Arlon

Montréal, January 31, 2015 – Ontarian judoka Jessica Klimkait concluded her excellent run in the under 57 kg class with a gold medal triumph, Saturday, at the under-21 competition of the Arlon Open in Belgium.

After reeling off three straight victories in the preliminary round, Klimkait reached the grand finale by defeating the Brit Jodie Caller, the Israeli Adi Grossman and the Frenchwoman Nina Rottger. In the gold medal match, the Canadian got the better of the Brit Bekky Livesey.

“Jessica was impressive today, winning all seven of her matches. She was dominant in each of her fights. She fought very tactically, and it paid off for her,” Canadian coach Sasha Mehmedovic said.

The Quebecoise Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi also distinguished herself in the under 78 kg category, coming away with a silver medal finish.

After concluding the round robin portion of the competition with a record of 2-1, Portuondo Isasi defeated the Frenchwoman Morgane Duchene in the semis. She would come short in the grand finale unfortunately, succumbing to defeat versus yet another Frenchwoman, Valentine Marchand.

“Ana Laura had a good day, but she lost to the same French girl twice, first in the prelims, and then again in the final. Ana Laura just couldn’t figure out a way to beat her today. I’m hoping that she will have another chance to fight her tomorrow,” Mehmedovic explained.

Elsewhere, Jaquina Simao took part in four matches in the under 63 kg division. After winning one of two contests in the prelims, the Albertan dropped her next match to the Frenchwoman Coralie Mary. She was then eliminated in her opening bout of the repechage, falling to the German Verena Geppert.

Klimkait, Portuondo Isasi and Simao will all return to the tatamis on Sunday to take part in the senior competition. Also representing Team Canada tomorrow will be Erin Morgan (48 kg), Audrée Francis-Méthot (52 kg), Monika Burgess (70 kg) and Alix Renaud-Roy (70 kg).

At the Visé Open, the Montrealer David Ancor and the Gaspé-native Alexis Morin-Martel came away with 9th place finishes in the under 73 kg class, both registering identical records of three wins and two losses.

“It wasn’t a great day for me. In comparison, I finished 2nd here last year,” Morin-Martel pointed out. “I started well by winning three bouts in a row, but I kind of fell apart at the end. I lost to a Dutchman and Italian, of who I feel I could have beaten.”

Toronto-native Youssef Youssef (60 kg), and Jonah Burt (90 kg), of Oshawa, both succumbed to defeat in their opening bouts. Youssef went on to lose in the repechage, while Burt was not granted a second fight.

Louis Krieber-Gagnon (81 kg), of Montréal, and Zachary Burt (81 kg), of Oshawa, will both be in action on Sunday.

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Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada