Montreal, June 17, 2012 – In action on the tatami at the Buenos Aires Judo World Cup, Quebec’s Patrick Gagné and Alexis Morin-Martel both snapped up fifth place in each of their respective categories.
Patrick Gagné, 78th in international rankings in the Under 66 kg class, won his first bout in penalties against Brazil’s Adriano Araujo, prior to his own defeat by ippon courtesy Argentina’s Fernando Gonzalez (ranked 42th internationally). “The crowd really seemed to affect the referees, they gave me a few penalties early on in the match. I came back with a yuko, only to be beaten in the last 30 seconds of the match,” commented Gagné.
Nevertheless, the Quebecois judoka made a splash in his first match against England’s Nathan Burns; while held in a yuko from behind, Gagné managed to score an ippon, launching the Englishman to the ground in the last second of combat.
In the bronze medal final, Gagné was bettered by Russia’s Denis Lavrentiev, winner of last week’s Rio de Janeiro Judo Grand Slam in Brazil. Lavrentiev stands in 25th place in the International Judo Federation’s current world rankings. “I was behind the whole match. I tried everything I could and he was able to take advantage of that and get me to the ground to score an ippon. I’m disappointed to have missed the podium, but I’m still satisfied with the pointage after two victories,” concluded Gagné.
In the Under 73 kg category, Alexis Morin-Martel – 64th in IJF standings – also finished the day in fifth place. “It was a tough day with big matches – long matches above all!” explained a tired Morin-Martel.
Kicking things off with a victory by waza-ari against El Salvador’s Carlos Figueroa, in his second match, the Quebecois judoka found himself face to face on the tatami with Argentina’s Francisco Cuneo – whom he beat just last week in Brazil. Three penalties were doled out to Morin-Martel, which favoured this adversary for the victory.
In the overtime round, the Canadian defeated Argentina’s Luis Vega with a waza-ari; in the bronze medal match, Morin-Martel lost by two penalties against Argentina’s Alejandro Clara, 69th in world rankings. “The Argentinian judokas I’ve fought against all have a very defensive style, they keep their arms stiff and stretch out the bouts in terms of duration. The crowd definitely had an effect on the match, each time I attacked the crowd would give me shidos. It was a difficult match to referee; I think I could have tried to throw more, but I wasn’t able to today,” analyzed Morin-Martel.
Canadians At Work on the Tatami in Slovenia
Elsewhere in the world, several Canadian judokas were taking part in the Judo European Cup in Cejle in Slovenia. Nicole Jenicek finished seventh in the Under 57 kg class, after a series of strong performances.
The Ontario native scored wins by ippon in her first bouts against Belgium’s Milane Kerchkhove and Italy’s Ciara Vernillo. She was consequently bested by Hungary’s Hedvig Karakas, who scored an ippon halfway through the combat and would go on to earn gold in that category. In overtime, Jenicek once again tasted victory, winning against Switzerland’s Katherin Frey with an ippon, prior to admitting defeat to Italy’s Alessia Regis who scored a waza-ari.
Other Canadian judokas present at the European Cup had a more difficult time than their compatriot; in the Under 73 kg class, David Ancor won his bout with Luxembourger Bob Schmit, but was then felled by Hungary’s Sandor Beki. In the same weight class, Mark Welsh lost his first match against Germany’s Stephan Friedrich.
In the women’s Under 52 kg category, Audrey Francis-Methot was defeated by Hungary’s Barbara Maros in the first round; Stéfanie Tremblay experienced the same fate in the Under 63 kg class, losing her first bout against Belgium’s Sandrine Billiet.
Next week, Canada’s judokas will be in action at the Judo European World Cup in Prague, the Czech Republic.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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