An Eye-Opening Day
Montréal, August 26, 2023 – “At this level, if you want to be successful internationally, you have to make the same sacrifices as a professional athlete. I think our athletes fully realized that today.”
So stated coach Alexandre Émond on Saturday, following the final day of competition at the Cadet World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia.
None of the six Canadians in action on Saturday won a single bout. It was a tough reality check for the young judokas, but one that may serve them well in the future, according to Émond.
“They saw what it takes to reach the elite level. You have to take your training seriously. It was an important lesson for those who hope to enjoy a long [competitive judo] career. It was a definite eye-opener, and I hope it will serve to motivate them when we get back to training.”
Charline Bourque (-70 kg) fought the longest bout of any Canadian in Zagreb on Saturday, holding her own against Mushtariybegim Afsalova of Uzbekistan for three minutes and 20 seconds before conceding defeat. Afsalova later won a bronze medal.
“Charline fought very well. Her opponent was very strong, but [Charline] didn’t back down. She showed us some great things, despite having sustained an injury in July that delayed her preparation for the Cadet World Championships,” explained Émond.
In the same weight division as Bourque, Maralgoo Batbayar lost to Nika Slacek of Croatia.
In the over-70 kg category, Frédérique Lavigne bowed out to Roxana Visa of Romania, while Marianna Karas lost to Gayane Pogosyan of Estonia.
On the men’s side, Oleksansdr Kaplin (-90 kg) was defeated by Cristiano Mincinesi of Italy, who later won the silver medal, while Matys Rainville (+90 kg) was beaten by Sunghoon Kim of South Korea.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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