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Canadians strike at second day in Lima

27 Apr 2019 06:10

 Judo Canada    Rafal Burza - Judo Canada

The Canadian team had an incredible day at the Pan American Championships in Lima (Peru), where they won a total of six medals on Friday: two gold, two silver and two bronze.

The men’s final in U81 kg was all Canadian with Étienne Briand and Antoine Valois-Fortier, a fight won by the latter by waza-ari. While he didn’t win, Briand was the only opponent Valois-Fortier didn’t win against by ippon: “I’m really happy, especially after missing seven or eight months because of back pain. I see improvement at each tournament, and I’m able to make up for lost time. I hope it’ll stay like that for the second year of the Olympic qualification process,” said Valois-Fortier, who has been crowned Pan-American champion for the third time in his career.

The London Olympics bronze medallist said he didn’t feel any back pain, even though he needs several therapeutic tapings to prevent injuries: “I have to be careful, but for now, it’s going well and I’m healthy.”

A Long-Awaited Victory for Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard

Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard won the continental title in -63 kg at the end of a perfect day, after a final fight against Cuban Maylin Del Toro Carvajal. The hard-won victory came during overtime.

“After three years being second, I finally win the final at the Pan American Championships! I’m really happy! I started strong for the first year of the Olympic qualification process by making the podium in China. I recently won several medals in Grand Prix, and I also wanted to win one in a Grand Slam, which I did. My last goal for this year was a gold medal at the Pan Ams, and I won it too!”

Cuban Magdiel Estrada captured gold U73kg against Canada’s opposition from Arthur Margelidon, but the Canadian was defeated by waza-ari after over two minutes in overtime. Estrada also eliminated Antoine Bouchard in the semifinal.  Bouchard, who was the gold medallist last year, was on the podium with his teammate after defeating Peruvian Alonso Wong by ippon in the bronze-medal bout.

In U70 kg Maria Perez of Puerto Rico captured the gold medal. Perez defeated Brazilian favourite Maria Portela of Brazil in the final in a strong category for Pan America.  Kelita Zupancic won the bronze medal after she bounced back after being defeated in the semi-final by the eventual continental champion Perez. Elvismar Rodriguez of Venezuela completed he strong podium.

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  • Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (CAN) - Pan American Championships Lima (2019, PER) - © Rafal Burza - Judo Canada
  • Kelita Zupancic (CAN) - Pan American Championships Lima (2019, PER) - © Rafal Burza - Judo Canada
  • Magdiel Estrada (CUB) - Pan American Championships Lima (2019, PER) - © Rafal Burza - Judo Canada

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