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Judo Canada – Montreal, October 8, 2019 – Kelita Zupancic almost left Brazil with a medal on Monday at the Brasilia Grand Slam. The Canadian judoka ended just outside the podium after losing her bronze-medal contest against one of the crowd’s favourites.

Fighting on Monday in -70 kg, Zupancic was defeated during her last bout by waza-ari by Brazilian Maria Portela.

The Ontarian had previously lost the semifinal against German Giovanna Scoccimarro, the eventual silver medallist. Earlier, Zupancic had started strong by defeating Brazilian Luana Carvalho and Moroccan Assmaa Niang to win the B pool.

Kelita Zupancic (-70 kg)
Photo: Judo Canada

Costly Penalties

Étienne Briand was eliminated after his first fight in -81 kg after an overtime of a little over one minute. The Quebecois lost by ippon after three penalties against Brazilian Victor Penalber.

“It wasn’t my best performance. I can live with the last penalty I got, but not the first two. They completely changed how the fight went. I don’t understand, even though I know judo really well,” he explained after being penalized twice in the first fifteen seconds of the match.

On Tuesday, Marc Deschênes and Mohab El Nahas were also in action on Brazilian soil.

Marc Deschênes (+100 kg) had a day similar to Étienne Briand’s in South America. He was also defeated in the first round after getting three penalties, this time against Vladut Simionescu, from Romania.

“I Have No Regrets”

Mohab El Nahas won his first bout in -90 kg by waza-ari against Columbian Francisco Balanta. The Canadian then faced the number one on the world ranking, Spanish Nikoloz Sherazadishvili, who eliminated El Nahas while on his way to the top of the podium.

“I fought well! I won in the first round against the Columbian, and it was an important fight,” explained El Nahas. “I started off well against the world champion in the next round, but I couldn’t find how to throw him. He countered me twice and won the gold medal later today.” 

After facing such an opponent, the 23-year-old thinks that with training, he could defeat Sherazadishvili. “I did my best and I have no regrets,” he said.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

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