Montreal, January 24, 2019 – Even though Quebecois Gueorgui Poklitar and Jacob Valois were defeated after their first fight at the Tel Aviv Grand Prix, in Israel, and didn’t get the results they were hoping for, they have learned their lesson and they have a better knowledge of what they need to work on.
Poklitar, who’s been back on the mats for 2 weeks after having surgery on his knee, lost his first fight by ippon against French Cédric Revol, who went on to win the bronze medal in the -60 kg category.
“He was a strong opponent. Even though he was seeded as one of the best, I’m disappointed with my performance. Since my surgery, I have a hard time finding certain reference points that I used to have,” commented the Montrealer.
The encouraging news is that his knee doesn’t hurt anymore, and he’ll have a whole week to find his rhythm and his cues back. “My knee is doing well. During the training camp next week, I’ll have more time to retrieve my style and my confidence.”
For his part, Valois lost by ippon against Brazilian Diego Santos in -66 kg. His coach Michel Almeida says Valois got surprised by the severity used in the referee application of the rules and was unable to correct the time he was taking to attack.
Valois thinks he made mistakes that cost him the victory. “It wasn’t a good day for me. I made big mistakes that I shouldn’t have made, but now that it’s done, it’s really important to make sure I don’t make them again during my next tournaments,” said the athlete from Boucherville.
“I wasn’t aggressive enough in the beginning, I didn’t establish myself, and I quickly paid the price. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it woke me up and reminded me that I fight with seniors now, and that I should give it my all during the entire fight.”
Determined to bounce back, Valois will be working very hard preparing for his next tournaments in Belgium, France and Italy. “I started this year a little slow, but I’ll finish strong!”
Michel Almeida thinks the day allowed his judokas to set their next main goals for the training camp following the tournament.
“If for both athletes nothing else can be taken from this event, at least it must serve as a base to analyze their performance and identify behaviours that need to be corrected and improved at the camp.”
Kelita Zupancic (-70 kg), Antoine Bouchard (-73 kg), and Étienne Briand (-81 kg) will be in action on the mats in Israel on Friday.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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