Next-Generation Canadian Judokas Wrap Up Weekend with Two Silver Medals in Mixed Team Comp
Montréal, September 10, 2023 – Canada added two silver medals to its haul on Sunday in the junior and cadet mixed team competitions on the final day of the first weekend of the 2023 the PanAmerican-Oceania Championships.
The two Canadian teams put on quite a show for the spectators at the WinSport Complex in Calgary. Both squads advanced to the big final, where they battled it out against Brazil, who ended the day as two-time champions.
“There were some very, very good fights today! Our young athletes were very motivated, and they performed extremely well. They really gave it their all,” summarized national team coach Sasha Mehmedovic, following the medal ceremony.
The junior team, made up of Mahée Savoie (-57 kg), Laurence Biron (-70 kg), Brandi Lingley (+70 kg), Lasha Tsatsalashvili (-73 kg), Arthur Karpukov (-73 kg), Jumber Meladze (-90 kg), Alec Garand (-90 kg) and John Jr Messe A Bessong (+90 kg), defeated Chile 4-0 before going on to face Brazil in the next two rounds.
After bowing out 4-3 at the end of the preliminaries, the Canadians lost the final 4-1, in a battle where little details made a big difference.
“In the fight for gold, some of the matches just didn’t go our way. We lost points at some key moments, which hurt us in the end,” explained Mehmedovic, who was nevertheless impressed by the calibre of the bouts.
“It’s too bad, but it was still very exciting to watch! It was very close, and things could have gone either way. Our athletes have a lot to be proud of, and this bodes very well for the Junior World Championships, which will take place in October.”
The coach also had a chance to observe the proficiency of Melody Grenier (-63 kg), Dakota Sanzana (-63 kg), Marianna Karas (+70 kg), Frédérique Lavigne (+70 kg), Luka Tsatsalashvili (-60 kg), Vincent Nepton (-60 kg), Elisey Sokolov (-81 kg), Yehor Paladii (-81 kg) and Oleksansdr Kaplin (+81 kg), who represented the country at the cadet level.
After their 4-2 opening win over Australia, the Canadians faced a tough challenge in the final against Brazil. Although they held their own for a couple of bouts, they eventually lost the competition 4-2.
“We knew the Brazilians would be hard to beat, so we focused on the importance of the experience for our young athletes. They really put their hearts into it, which was great to see,” said Mehmedovic. “They had a great attitude, they cheered each other on, and they put up a very good fight. As a coach, I love to see those types of things in young athletes!”
Thanks to today’s two silver medals, Canada now boasts a total of 21 medals after the first weekend of the 2023 PanAmerican-Oceania Championships.
Over the next few days, the cadet and junior judokas will attend an international training camp, before cheering on their senior-level teammates next weekend. From Friday to Sunday, the seniors will attempt to build on the momentum created by their young countrymates.
For more information on the 2023 PanAmerican-Oceania Championships, click here.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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