Montreal, July 15, 2017 – This Saturday, three Canadian judokas climbed atop the podium at the Junior European Judo Cup in Paks, Hungary. The happy judokas? Maxime Côté with a silver medal, and Virginia Nemeth and Yumi Amal Bellali both with bronze medals.
“It was a great day, and a great start to the tournament this weekend. Our three medallists worked very hard to get to the podium,” commented on-site Coach Jean-Pierre Cantin.
Maxime Côté had a picture-perfect ascent right up the final, where Swiss judoka Lukas Wittzer got the better of the Canadian with two waza-aris. In preliminary rounds, the Quebec-born judoka had made easy work of his adversaries with ippons, first defeating Hungary’s Martin Huszar, then Slovakia’s Matej Vidmar, Austria’s Michael Niederdorfer, and Puerto Rico’s Adrian Gandia. Once in the semi-finals Côté faced Hungary’s Roland Goz, whom he beat with a waza-ari.
Also on the tatami in the U81 kg category were Alex Marineau (seventh place) and Alexandre Arencibia (ninth place). In the repechage the two teammates faced each other, and Marineau used an ippon to get past Arencibia. However, Marineau was himself eliminated the following bout by Germany’s Hugo Murphy, and alas, the Canadian was forced out of the bronze medal round.
Virginia Nemeth took a bronze medal in the U48 kg class, with a win and a loss each in the preliminary round, before defeating Australia’s Emily Conran with an ippon in the repechage. Nemeth scored two waza-aris against Spain’s Elena Hidalgo in the bronze medal round – thereby earning herself and Canada another shiny medal.
“These are Maxime and Virginia’s first international medals, so I’m thrilled for them. They’ve worked very hard leading up to these wins, and at last their efforts are bearing fruit,” enthused Jean-Pierre Cantin.
Yumi Amal Bellali made her way to the podium in the U57 kg class with preliminary round wins against Austrian Julia Laber, Italian Silvia Pelliteri, and Hungarian Kitti Kovacs. However, Bellali was surprised by a waza-ari dolled out by Croatia’s Iva Oberan in the semi-finals, which resulted in Oberan taking the win. Bellali rallied back in the bronze medal round to claim victory via ippon over Britain’s Acelya Toprak.
“Yumi earned a medal in her last tournament as well, so she’s among the few athletes who’ve been able to score a ‘double’; it really demonstrates her determination and tenacity,” explained Cantin.
Marie Besson and Taeya Koliaska (U52 kg class) were both eliminated in the repechage, with Besson ending up in seventh place, and Koliaska in ninth.
Joe Casey Andres (+100 kg), Gabriel Traversy (U81 kg), Danil Neyolov (U81 kg), and Camelia Pitsilis (U57 kg) were unable to earn a ranking.
Shortfalls in Saarbrücken
Four Canadians stepped onto the tatami at the European Judo Cup in Saarbrücken, Germany.
Alicia Briggs (U57 kg) started the day with bang, dominating Switzerland’s Charlotte De Greggorio with am impressive four waza-aris! Sadly Briggs was unable to keep up the breakneck pace, and was defeated by Germany’s Tanja Strecker.
Warren Seib (U73 kg) faced Germany’s Sebastiaan Van Honschoten, but was unable to make it a win. “He let the German judoka score some points against him at first, but he (Seib) came back in the second half of the bout, scoring a waza-ari, and forcing his opponent to take two penalties. Even so, it wasn’t quite enough for a win today,” explained on-site Coach James Millar.
Bradley Langlois, also in the U73 kg category, was also ousted in his first match by Germany judoka David Kraemer. “Langlois had a decent pace for most of the bout, he scored a waza-ari pretty early on, but, his adversary turned up the pressure and threw Langlois in a waza-ari with only 20 seconds left in the match. During the golden score, it was a third penalty that did him in,” explained Millar.
Darren Elcock (U66 kg) earned himself three penalties in his first match against Britain’s Jonathan Dewar’ Dewar took the win.
The Junior European Judo Cup and the European Judo Cup both come to a close on Sunday.