Montreal, May 21, 2017 – Étienne Briand obtained Canada’s best result on Sunday at the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam in Russia. The pride of Sept-Îles climbed onto the third step of the podium in the U81 kg division.
“It’s very satisfying! I’ve never won a medal at this level of competition. It’s one of the major Grand Slams of the season. I managed to stay on my feet and remain clear-headed enough to win my bouts,” commented the Québécois.
Briand began his day with victories against Akmal Murodov of Tajikistan and Kamoliddin Rasulov of Uzbekistan in the preliminary rounds. His only defeat of the tournament came at the hands of Russia’s Khasan Khalmurzaev, who later went on to win the gold medal.
“Khalmurzaev is the Olympic champion so I was expecting a difficult match. It was tied at the end with two penalties each. I thought I had done most of the attacking and put him at risk a few times. I tried to make him take another penalty by increasing my speed but that ended up backfiring because I made a mediocre attack and took another penalty. That’s how I lost,” explained Briand. “I would have liked to see the outcome had I not taken that penalty.”
Briand rolled up his sleeves for the repechage and beat Andranik Chaparyan of Armenia with three waza-aris, which allowed him to advance to the bronze medal combat. The 24-year-old concluded his day with a victory by waza-ari over Russia’s Murat Khabachirov.
“I wasn’t feeling great. I didn’t have the energy to take control of the bout so I waited for opportunities to present themselves. There had been several in the repechage that I used to my advantage. The same thing happened in the final. I saw a chance, took it, and was able to control the remainder of the bout,” concluded Briand.
The silver medal was awarded to Attila Ungvari of Hungary and the second bronze medal went to Zebeda Rekhviashvili of Georgia.
Kelita Zupancic (U70 kg) of Whitby, Antoine Valois-Fortier (U81 kg) of Beauport, Louis Krieber-Gagnon (U90 kg) of Montreal, and Marc Deschênes (U100 kg) of Laval competed but did not rank.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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