Montréal, July 5, 2014 (Sportcom) – Antoine Valois-Fortier didn’t have the kind of day he was hoping for at the Ulan Bator Grand Prix, Saturday, presented in Mongolia. His goal was to climb onto the podium in the under 81 kg class, but he could do no better than a 5th place classification.
Things started well for the Canadian. He profited from a bye, and then won his first bout against the Uzbek Navruz Jurakonilov.
His day veered off course against the Japanese Keita Nagashima, however, who won on a controversial decision.
“There was a point scored early on in the contest. I thought I had scored it, but in the end they had given it to him (Keita Nagashima). It was a pretty 50/50 call. Even on the video replay it was super close, and it’s just tough to lose on a decision like that,” Valois-Fortier explained.
In the repechage, the Quebecer got back on track with a victory against the Hungarian Szabolcs Krizsan. The big letdown, however, was in Valois-Fortier’s last match. He succumbed to defeat at the 2:50 mark to the Pole Lukasz Blach.
“Let’s just say it ruined my day. I was really expecting to walk away with a podium finish, and I still felt confident that I would, right up to the final bout. At the beginning I was managing fine, but I had a moment there where I got a little too loose, and the Pole took advantage with an arm lock for the win,” the Canadian added.
He will travel to Russia next week to compete in a Grand Slam, a tournament in which he hopes to finish in the top 5.
Also competing in the under 81 kg category, the British-Columbian Scott McGrandle was eliminated in his first contest, falling to the Chinese Zhang Wentao.
In the under 73 kg division, the Quebecois Étienne Briand also lost in his opening match, losing to the Russian Leo Fogel.
The Ontarian Kelita Zupancic just missed out on the podium in the under 70 kg class. She got off to a quick start with wins against the Mongol Khulan Batbaatar and the Georgian Ester Stam in the prelims.
She would come up short in the semifinals, falling to the Mongol Naranjargal Tsend Ayush. Eventually placed in one of the two bronze medal bouts, the Canadian would again get the short end of the stick, succumbing to defeat versus the Brazilian Maria Portela.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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