Canadians Look to the Future
Judo Canada – Montreal, January 25, 2019 – On Friday, three Canadian judokas were able to test their ability during the Tel Aviv Grand Prix, in Israel. Étienne Briand noted the elements he has to work on during the next few weeks, and Antoine Bouchard was competing on the tatami again for the first time since October.
In -81 kg, Étienne Briand was in the first round of repechage, but was defeated by Portuguese Anri Egutidze.
“It’s obviously disappointing. It was no secret that I wanted to be on the podium. I think I’m starting to be consistent, but now I need to get medals,” he explained.
His bout against Egutidze was a close one that ended in golden score. “I know him well. He’s always a tough opponent, but today I felt good. At the end of regulation time, I thought I had scored. We both looked at the referee, but he didn’t give me the point,” said Briand.
“In golden score, we were interlocked and he had the upper hand. I should have been cautious, it’s his specialty. I was getting tired. I need more training, I was missing something to keep me going,” he added.
After receiving a bye-through in the first round, the Quebecois defeated Slovak Filip Stancel and Greek Alexios Ntanatsidis. He then lost against Bulgarian Ivaylo Ivanov and went through repechage.
“My second fight was very physical. He’s a good judoka- he has already been crowned junior world champion. I won, but I had a hard time at the end. I was exhausted and it impeded my performance in my next fights. I had recovered once up against the Bulgarian, and I thought I could win, but it was over fast. I thought I had dodged his attack in the beginning, but his knee was on my foot and there was nothing I could have done. I fell on my back,” explained Briand.
He’ll make the most of his stay in Israel to train until the Paris Grand Slam.
In -73 kg, Antoine Bouchard was back in a tournament for the first time since injuring his shoulder last October. He was defeated after his second bout. He first won against Netherlander Roy Schipper, but he was eliminated after being defeated by Israeli Tohar Butbul.
“It was my first tournament since I dislocated my shoulder. I lost my rhythm and my reflexes after this long break. I was still able to do some good things during my first fight though,” he said.
The only Canadian woman in action, Kelita Zupancic, also had a short day. After getting a bye-through in the first round, she was eliminated by Irish Megan Fletcher.
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