Montreal, January 12, 2020 – The second and last day of the Elite National Judo Championships was the Seniors’ time to shine at the Pierre-Charbonneau Centre in Montreal. After a day of fighting for their respective national title, Gabriel Juteau, from Quebec, and Brae Booth, from British Columbia, were also named Most Outstanding Male and Female Athletes by the national team coaches. Both judokas had a perfect day and stood out by their control and technique on the tatami.
Gabriel Juteau was very happy to be back on the first step of the podium in -73 kg. Last time he had won it was two years ago, when he was fighting in -66 kg. He won his first fight by fusen-gachi (forfeit) against Damien Ekosky (MB) and eliminated David Popovici (QC) in the second round to reach the final. He won the gold-medal contest against Munkhjin Batdorj, also from Quebec, by ippon. “I feel like I’m in a good place right now. Training has been going well and I’m focused on not getting injured so I can perform well for the rest of the season. I was happy to win this year, it shows that my hard work is paying off and I’m getting better,” he said.
Brae Booth, 17, won her first Elite Nationals senior title in the -70 kg category after winning it in U18 last year. Booth got a bye through the first round before fighting Tianna Lund (BC) in the second round. “I don’t know her much, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I’d say I won fairly easily,” she commented. She then faced Alexandria Lefort, from Ontario, in the finale. “I was definitely more nervous for the finale. I know Alexandria very well, we fight often, so I know she’s a strong opponent. It was a challenge, but I’m really happy with the result. There are a few things I need to work on before my next tournaments, but overall, I gave a good performance,” she added.
Complete results of the U18 and Senior tournaments are available online at judocanada.tv.
Junior and Senior Teams Ready for their European Tour
Sasha Mehmedovic, Judo Canada’s Senior National Coach, was happy with the performances he saw during the weekend. “Elite Nationals are a great competition to see where our athletes are at and what they need to work on before the European tour in February and March. We still have time to improve before the big tournaments, but it’s close enough to give us a good idea of their shape and technique. Overall, it was very exciting to watch. Everyone is pretty much where we want them, but we also had a few surprises, so we’re very excited to see how they’ll do in the next few months,” he commented. The national teams will be leaving for their annual European tour in the next few weeks.
Written by Sarah Mailhot for Judo Canada
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