Montreal, August 12, 2017 – Benjamin Kendrick climbed onto the third step of the podium in the U90 kg division at the Cadet World Championships on Saturday. The tournament is being held in Santiago, Chile.
In the fight for bronze, the Canadian judoka disposed of Russia’s Valeriy Endovitskiy, currently ranked number one in the world in the weight class, by ippon.
“I fought well. I was able to stay focused all day and I’m proud to have beaten this particular opponent, who’s the best in our weight division. It was a great accomplishment,” enthused the Ontarian.
Kendrick found himself in the fight for bronze after losing to Romania’s Eduard Serban in a very tight semi-final match. More than four minutes into overtime, Kendrick received a third penalty, which cost him the bout.
“It was a long and difficult bout. We went into golden score and that’s when I received the penalty. We didn’t know each other but we both fought hard. I’m pleased with my fight,” explained Kendrick.
According to coach Jean-Pierre Cantin, the bout could have gone either way in overtime. “Benjamin battled really well. It was an almost perfect fight. He received a non-combativity penalty at the very end but in my opinion, he didn’t deserve it. His opponent wasn’t any more active than he was. It’s understandable that after eight minutes of combat, it becomes more difficult,” he noted.
During the preliminary rounds, Kendrick did away with Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Panniccia, Trinidad’s Xavier Jones, and Russia’s Said Gadzhiev.
“Benjamin had a really great day. He’s very strong physically, which I believe gave him a significant advantage today. His opponents tried to force him to make mistakes but he managed to avoid them. Although he was pitted against some very tough judokas, he stuck to his game plan,” added Cantin.
In the same weight division, Ian Ryder was eliminated during his first match of the day by Hungary’s Csaba Toth.
On the women’s side, Anabelle Darlow (+70 kg) bowed out to Taiwan’s Lin Yu-Jing in the very first round.
“I’m proud of the work the team put in this week. We gained two medals and a seventh-place finish. That was my objective in coming here. We can say it’s ‘mission accomplished’ for the individual events,” exclaimed Cantin.
Canada will compete in the team events on Sunday. “We had a good draw. I’m confident in my judokas. We start off against Mexico and I think we’ll do well,” added the coach.