Montreal, April 21, 2018 – Antoine Valois-Fortier was on the highest step of the podium on Saturday at the Pan American Championships in San José, in Costa Rica. Kelita Zupancic will be bringing home a bronze medal.
Fighting in the -81 kg category, Valois-Fortier was on a winning streak. He started the day with a victory by ippon against Argentinian Luis Vega, and another by waza-ari against American Jack Hatton. He then went into the semifinal, which he won quickly by ippon against Puerto Rican Adrian Gandia.
In the final for gold, the athlete from Beauport quickly had the upper hand in overtime against Dominican Medickson Del Orbe Cortorreal. Both judokas were even with 2 penalties each at the end of regulation time.
“It was a hard fight, harder than I expected. My opponent was having a very good day. I’ve already won against him, but he has really improved since. His style was fuller and more physical. I thought I could manage the bout better, but he fought really well,” said Valois-Fortier.
Even though he wasn’t fully satisfied with each of his bouts, the judoka still achieved the goal he set for himself in San José.
“I’m very happy with the result, a little less with my performance. I think I’ve had better days. It wasn’t my worst either, but I think there are things I need to work on in the next few weeks,” explained Valois-Fortier.
The only Canadian women in action today, Kelita Zupancic, finished third. Fighting in one of the bronze medal fights in the -70 kg, the Ontarian defeated Puerto Rican Maria Perez by ippon in overtime.
After winning against Cuban Olga Masferrer in her first and only fight in the preliminary round, Zupancic was stopped in her quest for the gold medal in the semifinal against Colombian Yuri Alvear.
Fighting in the -90 kg category, Zachary Burt ended in 5th place. He was defeated in the bronze-medal fight by American Colton Brown, who won by ippon.
It was a rough start for the Whitby-native. The Ontarian had to go in overtime to win by waza-ari against Brazilian Gustavo Assis. His second bout was much quicker. He won by ippon against Colombian Francisco Balanta. He was defeated in the semifinal by ippon against Cuban Ivan Felipe Silva Morales.
Mina Coulombe (-78 kg), Étienne Briand (-81 kg), Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-90 kg), and Marc Deschênes (+100 kg) each had 1 victory and 2 losses, taking the 7th place in their respective category.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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