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Jacob Valois Fights with Grit and Wins Two Bouts

Montreal, August 6, 2015 – Quebec judoka Jacob Valois came out on top in his first two matches and made it to the round of sixteen in the Under 60kg class at the World Cadet Judo Championships, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In his first match, the Boucherville athlete defeated Kazakhstan’s Damir Abdekov by getting him to take two penalties. He then disposed of Algerian Youcef Mokhtar Zallat, 18th in the world, with an ippon.

But Valois ended up succumbing to Luca Caggiano, 3rd in the world, in his third bout. He took three penalties, whereas the Italian athlete had only one. Caggiano went on to lose in repechage and come in seventh.

“Jacob’s intelligent strategy won him two fights,” said Canadian coach Jean-Pierre Cantin. “He fought the third one with grit, but a couple of strategic mistakes cost him the victory. It is still a solid performance and I am proud of him.”

Another Canadian Under 60kg judoka, Ossama Mahmoud, lost his first match despite putting up brave resistance to Japan’s Genki Koga, who would go on to win the gold medal. The Kitchener, Ontario athlete took two penalties against his rival’s one.

“Ossama was the revelation of the day,” praised Cantin. “He had a fantastic match against Koga. He was determined and aggressive on the attack until the very last second, like a true samurai.”

Yumi Amal Bellali, from Pointe-Claire, and Brette Poliakiwski, from Vermilion, Alberta, both in the Under 52kg division, and Marie Besson, from Dolbeau-Mistassini, in the Under 48kg, left the competition after one match.

Bellali lost by yuko to French Lydia Boudouaia, 11th in the world. Poliakiwski’s elimination came in the form of a waza-ari from Serbian Marija Ivkovic, whereas Besson suffered an ippon in the hands of Russian Ekaterina Dolgikh.

“Yumi took a yuko that she sustains doesn’t qualify as a yuko this early in the bout, but she was on the attack and gave it her best until the last second,” said Cantin. “Brette started out strong, but had a harder time towards the end. Marie didn’t manage to adapt to the Russian’s aggressive style and unfortunately ended up losing on the ground with a joint lock.”

The World Cadet Judo Championships will continue this Friday and three Maple Leafers will be on the tatami: Lethbridge, Alberta Hanako Kuno (Under 63kg) and Tanner Sudo (Under 81kg), and Waterloo, Ontario Natalie Rygielski (Under 57kg).