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Short outing for Canadian judokas

Montréal, February 20, 2015 – It was a day to forget for the two Canadian judokas in action on Friday, both crashing out early at the Düsseldorf Grand Prix presented in Germany.

Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard of Saint-Hubert, Québec, was in action in the under 57 kg class. She was eliminated in her opening bout, falling to the Chinese Zhou Ying by an ippon.

“She was feeling fine, but the fight didn’t go so well. Once the Chinese scored a yuko (advantage point), Catherine had to start taking some risks. She opened up her judo quite a bit, and unfortunately it was her opponent who benefitted. It’s the sort of thing that happens all the time,” national team coach Jeremy Le Bris explained.

“She will now focus completely on next week’s event, and work hard on getting the errors she made today out of her judo,” he added.

As for Antoine Bouchard (-66 kg), he also succumbed to defeat in his first bout, losing to the German Martin Setz in a gruelling affair that lasted five minutes.

“I was taken down for a waza-ari early on in the bout. It was just too steep a hill to climb from that point on. I feel like I followed my game plan for the most part. I had some good opportunities to score some points, but it just didn’t happen for me,” the Saguenay-native said.

“Antoine’s fight went very strangely in my opinion,” Jérémy Le Bris elaborated. “He was penalized for being the more aggressive judoka. At some point he was countered for a waza-ari. He responded well with a strong ko-uchi-gari throw, but the judges didn’t score it. You know that there will always be a bit of hometown officiating going on, but still, Antoine should have won that fight.”

His next competitions will take place in March. He will participate in the Pan-American Opens presented in Montevideo (Uruguay) and Buenos Aires (Argentina). The 20-year-old judoka will be looking to make the podium in both of these events.

Kelita Zupancic, Étienne Briand, Arthur Margelidon and Antoine Valois-Fortier will be the ones to watch, Saturday, in Düsseldorf.