Judo Canada – Five fights, five ippons: Keagan Young brings home gold
Judo Canada – Montréal, March 4, 2018 – Ontario judoka Keagan Young had a perfect day leading to a gold medal on Sunday at the Cadet European Cup in Antalya, Turkey. Fighting in the -73 kg, the 16-year-old won his 5 fights by ippon.
“It’s an extraordinary performance for Keagan. He won without any opposition. He won all his fights after barely 2 minutes, and it looked easy,” commented the Canadian coach, Alexandre Émond.
The performance is a great way for Young to inaugurate his international career in a new weight category, after winning a bronze medal at the 2017 Cadet World Championships in the -66 kg category.
“I was a little nervous to fight against opponents that would be bigger and stronger, but it was not that much different,” said the athlete, who was very pleased with how things turned out. “I’m very happy with that gold medal. It proves that I made the right decision. ”
The athlete, training with the Ontario provincial coach James Millar, first won against Georgian Jemal Berianidze, Russian Ramzan Akhmetov, and Azeri Kamran Novruzov to go through to the semi-final.
Against Georgian Nika Zoidze, Young only needed 30 second to throw him and score an ippon.
“I was pretty surprised because I expected that to be my hardest fight of the day. Seeing his other fights, he looked very good. I was surprised to beat him so fast with such a nice throw.”
Batyrkhan Sakenov, from Kazakhstan, was the final opponent standing between Yound and a gold medal. Young defeated him after 2 minutes and 9 seconds.
“I tried to control the sleeve, and do my normal throws. He was hard to throw, because he’s really tall, but he got 2 shidos pretty fast because he wasn’t attacking. It worked well for me.”
The new weight category is a reason for his success.
“I think that the fact that I don’t have to cut weight anymore makes a big difference. Before, I had to loose a lot of weight before I fought. This time I didn’t have to and I felt a lot better, a lot stronger than I normally do. It was a good decision.”
Krapman fought for the bronze
On the women’s side, Rachel Krapman finished in fifth position after losing her fight for the bronze medal in the -57 kg category. Turk Habibe Afyonlu stood in her way to the podium, defeating her by ippon less than 30 seconds after the fight started.
The 16-year-old judoka had one victory and one loss, followed by 2 victories in repechage.
In the same weight category, Sierra Tanner ended in repechage. She finished in 9th place.
In the -81 kg category, Alexandre Arencibia also finished in 9th place. After loosing his second fight, he had a second chance in repechage, where he lost again, this time against Georgian Jumberi Kolkhitashvili.
“It was a good performance overall, but they made small mistakes that made them lose fight they should have won. They’re not used to fight against Turk or Georgian athletes, who have their own style. They’ll have things to work on in training this week,” commented Alexandre Émond, whose athletes will be fighting again next week in Zagreb, Croatia, for another Cadet European Cup.
Short day for Marc Deschênes
Marc Deschênes was in Prague, in Czech Republic, for a European Open. Fighting in the +100 kg category, he was eliminated after his first fight against Spanish Irinel Vasile Chelaru Grigoras.
Deschênes will have another chance to shine next week in Zurich, in another European Open.
Chief Operating Officer