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Montréal, July 8, 2023 – On Saturday, Lasha Tsatsalashvili secured his third consecutive Junior European Cup medal, winning bronze in the under-73 kg weight division. The Ontarian finished the day with a record of five wins and one loss at the Paks Junior European Cup in Hungary.

Tsatsalashvili had a great start to the day, winning four consecutive matches to advance to the semi-final, where he faced Aron Szabo of Hungary, who bested him by ippon with 15 seconds to go in the bout.

Rather than wallow in defeat, however, Tsatsalashvili roared back with a decisive victory over Lenz Naprudnik of Austria in the bronze medal final.

“Over the past few months, Lasha has been very consistent. I’m really happy for him. He’s heading in the right direction. We know what we need to work on to get him to the top of the podium,” said Canadian coach Sasha Mehmedovic.

Olivier Gagnon, who competes in the same weight class as Tsatsalashvili, also had a strong start, winning his first three bouts of the day. However, he was defeated in the quarter-final by Denys Doktorov of Ukraine, who later won the gold medal.

In the repechage, Gagnon overcame Bertil Lavrsen of Denmark before ultimately bowing out to Naprudnik. He ended the day in seventh place, earning his first career top-seven finish.

“Olivier surprised us today (Saturday). He did great on the tatamis. He’s young, and the experience he’s gaining at the European Cups is very valuable. A record of four wins and two losses is excellent,” explained Mehmedovic.

Also in under-73 kg action, Arthur Karpukov finished with two wins and two losses, while Yuriy SemenuykJeremie NgombiFélix Mercier-Ross and Matis Ganet were all eliminated in the first round.

On the women’s side, Laurence Biron finished fifth, claiming the top spot among the Canadian women. The 19-year-old defeated Hungary’s Rebeka Soczo and Greece’s Avia Malka back-to-back to advance to the semi-final, where she lost two in a row, first to Gaya Bar Or of Israel, who later won silver, then to Mariia Rystka of Ukraine in the bronze medal final.

“Once again, Laurence came close to finishing on the podium. She also managed to score a point in her final match, but her opponent ended up winning. Her turn will definitely come. We have to be patient, but she’s eager for it to happen.”

In other Canadian women’s results, Loika Robertson (-63 kg) finished with two wins and two losses, but did not rank, while Meloize Perkinson lost her only bout of the day.

In the men’s competition, Victor Dessureault (-60 kg) and Frédéric De Cardaillac (-66 kg) won their first bouts before losing their second. Daniil Kremerman (-60 kg) finished the day with one win and two losses, while Raphael Gaanan (-60 kg) and Luke Thomson (-66 kg) lost their only bouts of the day.

The Paks Junior European Cup will continue on Sunday. Canadians Marie-Lune Turmel (-48 kg), Heidi Quach (-48 kg), Charlize Isabelle Medilo (-48 kg), Sarra Bourihane (-52 kg), Evelyne Beaton (-52 kg), Violette Louet (-52 kg), Mahee Savoie (-57 kg), Catherine Toshkov (-57 kg), Jumber Meladze (-81 kg), Faniry-Michael Andriamanana (-81 kg), Norman Brazhnyk (-100 kg) and John Jr Messé A Bessong (+100 kg) will all be in action.

Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operating Officer
Judo Canada
(514) 668-6279