Montreal, October 8, 2018 – Ontarian Keagan Young won the first medal for Team Canada on Monday at the Young Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, in Argentina. He stood on the third step of the podium in the -81 kg category.
“I’m happy, it’s the first Canadian medal in judo for this event. I did my best, and I’m coming back with a medal, I couldn’t ask for more!”
During the bronze-medal bout, he defeated Slovak Alex Barto by waza-ari. The athlete from Markham, who also won a bronze medal at the last Junior Pan American Championships, was fighting in -73 kg, a new category for him.
“I’d never want to go in -81 kg! These guys are huge, and I didn’t like fighting against them. I had to change my tactics to adapt to very tall opponents,” added Young, who’s hoping to win another medal next week at the Junior World Championships in the Bahamas in his usual category.
At the beginning of the day, Algerian Ahmed Rebahi won by ippon and sent Keagan in repechage, where he defeated Moroccan Anwar Zrhari (ippon), and Venezuelan Carlos Paez (waza-ari).
“The hardest fight of the day was against Rebahi because of his height and the way he fights, and also because he’s left-handed. I made stupid mistakes during that fight, but not during the others.”
On the podium with Keagan were Romanian Adrian Sulca (gold), Czech Martin Bezdek (silver), and Netherlander Mark Van Dijk (bronze).
Enriching Experience for Krapman
Ontarian Rachel Krapman finished in 9th place in the -63 kg category. The judoka from Thornhill lost both her fights by ippon, first against Hungarian Szofi Ozbas, who went on to win the gold medal, and Mexican Itzel Pecha.
“I was ready, and I knew my opponents would be strong. I watched a lot of videos of them before coming here. It was hard against Ozbas, she’s really strong. The girls are impressive and I get more tired. I’ll stay in -57 kg for a while before changing for this category,” said Krapman, laughing.
“We knew it would be challenging for her to go in -63 kg. She was unlucky with the draw, being against the gold medallist, but she did a good job. During her second fight, she was a little demotivated and she lost her focus. She could have won, but it was still a good experience for her,” said the provincial coach James Millar.
Tunisian Mariem Khlifi won the silver, and Belgian Alessia Corrao and South Korean Kim Ju-hee won the bronze medals.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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