(Montreal) In taekwondo, the fashion is currently at a conservative style among those over 80 kg. Eliminated in the first round of the Rome Grand Prix on Friday, Quebecer Marc-André Bergeron is trying somehow to adapt to this trend.

In the past, the 31-year-old taekwondo player has mostly found success with his energy and attacking moves. Lately, his opponents who are enjoying success in international tournaments seem to have gone back to basics, showcasing tight defense and simple techniques to limit risk-taking.

The breaches are rarer and the fights less dynamic.

“There are often trends in martial arts and at heavyweight, it’s currently a slower pace that’s popular, in terms of strike rate and number of actions. Personally, it’s not part of my identity. It appeals to me less, but I’m still going to deal with it, “said Marc-André Bergeron to Sportcom.

“They are expert athletes at putting referees to sleep. They will make an action when they are on the verge of an inactivity warning and play on that line. They are more defense-oriented and want to kill time,” he said, citing 2022 world champion and recent world silver medalist Carlos Sansores of Mexico as an example.

On Friday, Bergeron took on the Turkish Emre Kutalmis Atesli, fifth in the world rankings in his category and bronze medalist at the World Championships. The Quebecer won the first round 1-0, then his opponent tied the game in the second by winning 2-0. The Turk confirmed his victory afterwards by saving himself with the third round 5-2.

“I wanted to be quieter and limit my opponent’s opportunities. By having a slower approach in mind, I was more involved and in retrospect, there are opportunities to attack that I did not take. It would have been time to be more dynamic in the third round, but the other took advantage of it,” said Bergeron.

The athlete from Quebec, ranked 33rd in the world, was also limited to one fight last week, at the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.

“Coming here, just like at worlds, I felt ready. I felt that the training had paid off and that was reassuring. It’s disappointing and obviously not the result I wanted. It’s a more difficult sequence, a bad patch, but I’m never downgraded. I have to find the elements that made my success in sport. I have to adapt. »

The Grand Prix de Rome will continue this weekend and Quebec’s Viviane Tranquille will fight in the -49 kg class on Sunday.

Bergeron will use the next few months to prepare for the Pan American Games to be held this fall in Chile.

“There are always things to work out, but the rest will do you good. It gives me a lot of time to train. The Pan American Games will be very tough! In the heavyweights, the caliber is always very strong. I can’t wait to come home to work and arrive ready for Santiago. »