The Golden Gator
Montréal, August 3, 2022 – Few minutes after an all-Canadian duel in Under-100 kg final, where Shady ElNahas got the better of teammate Kyle Reyes to win gold, in the Over 100kg category, Marc Deschênes won decisively in under a minute. As a result of the above bouts, Canada is taking home three medals after Wednesday’s tatami time at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games judo tournament.
Smiling brightly, heavyweight judoka Marc Deschênes left the mat thrilled with the fruits of his labours, “This was my first competition since my knee injury; I’m really happy to win!”
Deschênes’ victory was the sum of successful waza-aris, by immobilizing – twice – opponent Kody Andrews, from New Zealand. Those two waza-aris earned Deschênes an ippon a mere 58 seconds into the fight. “It wasn’t my initial strategy, but the opportunity presented itself. I took it!”
After his victories, the judoka made a ‘gator’ sign – a gesture that resonated and spread on social media. “It’s my signature technique on the ground, the ‘gator’! I wrap my legs around my opponent and turn,” the 29-year-old enthusiastically explained.
Two Canadians in the Under 100 kg finals
Shady ElNahas and Kyle Reyes both had a perfect lead-ups in the tournament, which meant that gold in the Under 100 kg category would be an all-Canadian affair. The tactical duel of the two left-dominant judokas was ultimately won by ElNahas.
“It’s a disadvantage to fight against someone who knows me so well – I can’t surprise him,” noted gold-medallist EINahas.
“I managed to get some good grips, but I should have attacked faster, before he avoids my grip,” explained Kyle Reyes.
Fighting without a coach, the two Canadians weren’t able to benefit from Antoine Valois-Fortier’s valuable insight and coaching during the bout. “My brother Mohab (ElNahas) was in the stands; he knows my judo well, and he was there for me. His advice helped me to adapt my moves” revealed Shady ElNahas.
Earlier on in the day during the Women’s Under 78 kg category bronze final, Canadian Coralie Godbout lost to Scotland’s Rachel Tytler, and ended up in fifth place.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada