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Brazilians dominate at Pan American Open in Santiago
18 Mar 2017 23:50
Brazil is the big winner after the first day of fighting at the Pan American Open in Santiago de Chile. The Brazilian team captured five out of the seven titles. Exceptions on the Brazilian domination were Gimena Laffeuillade of Argentina who took the title U57kg and Antoine Bouchard of Canada who defeated Brazilian Charles Chibana in an expected final.
Bouchard won by ippon in the final against Chibana. “It was a tight match that went into overtime. He beat me in our three previous match-ups, so today’s win really boosted my confidence,” commented Bouchard. In the preliminary rounds of the tournament, the judoka, who hails from Jonquière, quickly disposed of Argentina’s Lucas Ambrosio. In the semi-final, he scored an ippon against Chile’s Juan Perez. “My objective in coming to this tournament was to compete in several bouts and polish up my training. My goal was simple: I wanted to win,” he continued.
“I applied the strategies I had worked on with my coach and didn’t deviate from my game plan,” added the athlete, who is currently preparing for the Pan-American Championships, set to take place in April.
The judoka and his teammates will compete at a tournament in Peru next weekend. “The level of competition will probably be higher, but my goal will remain the same: to win all my matches.”
Argentine Laffeuillade was the youngest winner on Saturday, she continued her success of last week in Buenos Aires and added another gold medal. The youngster of 20 years finished seventh at last year’s Panam Championships but is now among the medal candidates. On Saturday she bested Jennipher Cabrera (CHI) in the final but the event was pretty weak with just six opponents. In Chile only 41 women were at the start.
All other medals were for Brazilian women; Gabriela Chibana won U48kg against Katelyn Bouyssou of the United States with one more wazari score. Eleudis Valentim overcame Abi Cardozo of Argentina in a field of nine women. Ketleyn Quadros scored a wazari against Hannah Martin quickly in the match and could defend her lead to the end and was awarded with gold, at a podium with only Brazilian and American judoka. Martin won last week in Buenos Aires.
Phelipe Pelim bested 6 time Croatian champion Bernard Azinovic (24) of Croatia in the final U60kg with three wazari. Pelim won the British Open in Glasgow last year and at the Grand Prix in Düsseldorf he captured bronze which is actually the best performance so far.
U73kg Marcelo Contini added his third career victory in at IJF level. One month ago he won bronze in Rome, now he defeated Alonso Wong of Peru in the final by ippon. Contini had to win just two matches for the gold, so no guarantee for future success.
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Inbal Shemesh (ISR)
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