Montreal, June 18, 2017 – Two hours after being defeated in overtime in the U90 kg bronze medal fight against Cuba’s Ivan Felipe Silva Morales on Sunday in Mexico, Zachary Burt was still trying to make sense of the referee’s call.
Just over a minute into overtime, the referee suddenly penalized Burt, giving the Cancun Grand Prix’s defending champion an automatic victory.
“My coach and I were just as confused as everyone else when the result was announced. Apparently, we’re not allowed to use the type of inside leg hook I used without immediately attacking,” explained Burt in a measured voice. “We checked the rules and it’s there, only I’ve never seen it applied in international competition. Neither has my coach, for that matter.”
“Since they imposed a penalty for it this time, they should do so all the time. It’s disappointing because this was not a big Grand Prix and winning a medal would have meant a lot to me. I was aiming for the podium so it’s hard to take.”
Both athletes received penalties for non-combativity after the first minute of the bout. Each increased his intensity and the Canadian attempted to subdue his opponent using hand grips and unbalancing techniques. An even score forced the match into overtime.
This was the third time the two athletes faced off against one another and even though Burt has yet to beat the Cuban, today he came closer than ever.
“I wanted to bring more physicality to the fight and put a lot of pressure on him. My strategy worked and I even came to close to throwing him a couple of times. It’s just really too bad it ended the way it did.”
Burt, a native of Oshawa, began his day with a victory by ippon over Haiti’s Will Chery. The tides were turned during his second bout, however, and he lost by ippon to Colton Brown of the U.S.A. His win over Romania’s Mark Stoica in the repechage paved his way to a combat for third place.
Laval’s Marc Deschênes also competed today. The Canadian finished in seventh place in the U100 kg weight class with a record of one win and two losses.
His victory came at the expense of Colombia’s Carlos Garzon, who was ousted by ippon during the first round. In his second round, Deschênes was caught off guard by Cuba’s José Armenteros, who scored a waza-ari. In the repechage, Deschênes was defeated by ippon by Cuba’s Andy Granda, who went on to win a bronze medal.