Montreal, May 13, 2017 – The Canadians put on an impressive performance on Saturday at the European Judo Cup in Orenburg, Russia. Canada’s representatives won four medals—one gold and three bronze—thanks to brilliant efforts by Jessica Klimkait, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard, Ecaterina Guica, and Arthur Margelidon.
In the women’s U57 kg group, the podium was occupied almost exclusively by maple leaf wearers. Klimkait claimed the gold medal while Beauchemin-Pinard and Guica each snagged a bronze.
Klimkait, of Whitby, had a perfect tournament record. “I think the highlight was my winning my first four matches. I was able to win them all using ground techniques. It’s nice to see that I’m developing more on the ground.”
Undefeated after the preliminary rounds, she continued her winning streak with two victories by ippon: one in the semi-final against Altantsetseg Batsukh of Mongolia and one in the final against Dilbara Salkarbek Kyzy of Russia.
“I was pretty dominant in all my fights, but in the final, it was difficult for me to score against her. I wasn’t able to throw her but I did a lot of attacking. She wasn’t attacking me at all and she got three penalties, so that was how I ended up winning.”
In Klimkait’s opinion, one of her strengths in international competition is that she is able to focus on the present moment and take one match at a time. “I concentrate on what I’m doing, never on the end result. I focus on doing my best, and usually, when I do that, it works out well.”
Guica started her day in fine form with two victories in the preliminary rounds. The Montrealer lost by ippon to Salkarbek Kyzy in the semi-final but came back to win her final match by throwing Russia’s Viktoriia Baidak.
Beauchemin-Pinard’s day played out a little differently. She lost her two first matches in the preliminary rounds but beat her two opponents in the repechage. In her final bout, the judoka from Saint-Hubert scored an ippon against Batsukh.
One Medal for the Men
Arthur Margelidon (U73 kg) did not yield until the semi-finals. The Montreal resident was unbeatable throughout the preliminaries, completing the round with a record of three victories. However, Russia’s Saian Ondar, who later went on to take the gold medal, put the brakes on Margelidon with a win by waza-ari. Undaunted, Margelidon came back swinging to oust Russia’s Oleg Shevchenko by ippon and put his hands on a bronze medal.
Two Top-Five Finishes for Canada
Marie Besson (U52 kg) grabbed the fifth place spot in her category. The Montrealer finished the preliminaries with one win and one loss under her belt and beat both her opponents in the repechage. Kseniya Danilovich of Belarus knocked her out by waza-ari in the bronze medal match.
Antoine Bouchard (U66 kg) also placed fifth. The Saguenay resident finished the day with a record of two victories and one defeat in the preliminary rounds and two wins in the repechage. In the bronze medal final, France’s Franck Vernez showed him the door with a waza-ari.
Alicia Briggs (U57 kg), Camelia Pitsilis (U57 kg), Gueorgui Poklitar (U66 kg), Gabriel Juteau (U66 kg), Patrick Cantin (U73 kg), and Bradley Langlois (U73 kg) also competed but did not rank.
The tournament continues on Sunday.