Montreal, March 18, 2017 – Antoine Bouchard was awarded the gold medal in the U66 kg category at the Pan-American Judo Open held in Santiago, Chile on Saturday.
The Saguenay native won by ippon in the final against Brazil’s Charles 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, 22.
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.”
The two Canadians who were competing in the U73 kg group, Bradley Langlois and Patrick Cantin, faced off in the bronze medal match. Langlois took the upper hand in the combat, relegating his fellow countryman to fifth place.
In the preliminary round, Cantin disposed of American Everet Desilets by waza-ari while Langlois defeated Chilean Franco Toscanini by ippon.
On the women’s side, Erin Morgan also climbed onto the podium after winning bronze in the U48 kg class. She won her preliminary bout but lost by ippon in her semi-final match against Katelyn Bouyssou of the U.S.A. In the bronze medal final, the Albertan finished on a positive note when she dispatched of Peru’s Lesly Cano.
In U66 kg action, Gueorgui Poklitar finished in seventh place. He came out of the preliminary rounds with one win and one loss under his belt, and bowed out in the repechage when Colombia’s Juan Hernandez scored an ippon.
Bronze for Gauthier-Drapeau in Portugal
François Gauthier-Drapeau (U73 kg) claimed the bronze medal at Saturday’s Junior European Cup, which was held in Coimbra, Portugal.
“I attained my goal, which was to win a medal. This puts me in a good position to be selected for the Junior World Championships team. It’s my first medal at a European Cup so I’ll remember this day for a long time,” noted the 19-year-old judoka.
“I stuck to what I had practised and my training paid off,’” he added. The athlete from Alma finished the preliminary rounds with a perfect record of three victories by ippon against Joao Almeida of Portugal, Andrea Scivoletto of Italy, and Miguel Alves of Portugal.
He bowed out in the semi-final when Brazil’s David Lima scored an ippon. “After my loss, I had a hard time getting back into the game. I was really disappointed. It was hard for me to move on from that, but in the end I succeeded.”
In the fight for the bronze medal, Spain’s Tomas Mucientes Sisto couldn’t overcome the Quebecois, who won by ippon once again.
In the words of coach Jean-Pierre Cantin, Gauthier-Drapeau fought “like a true warrior”.
“None of my bouts were easy and a few were decided in overtime. In that type of situation, it’s the person with the most determination that wins. Despite my fatigue, I went out onto the mats determined to win,” explained the judoka.
Joel Demaere (U66 kg) moved up to fifth place in his weight class. The Canadian athlete came out of the preliminary rounds with a perfect record of four victories. He lost by ippon in the semi-final and in the bronze medal match against Italy’s Andrea Carlino.
In the U66 kg group, Keagan Young, Gabriel Juteau, and Jacob Valois all finished in ninth place. Young had a record of two wins and one loss after the preliminaries. In the repechage, he eliminated his first opponent before losing by ippon to Italy’s Mattia Miceli.
Juteau also came out of the preliminary rounds with two wins and one loss, but was defeated in the repechage by Spain’s Adrian Chinarro Nieto. Valois had one win and one loss in the preliminary rounds. He won his first match in the repechage, then lost by ippon to Salvador Cases Roca of Spain.
In the women’s competition, Virginia Nemeth (U48 kg) lost her two matches and finished in ninth place.
Also competing in Portugal were Taeya Koliaska (U52 kg), Marie Besson (U52 kg), Camelia Pitsilis (U57 kg), Alexandra Gagnon (U57 kg), Vincent Miran (U60 kg), Julien Frascadore (U66 kg), and Aidan Skaï (U73 kg). None of them ranked.