Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-90 kg) was the only representative of the country to sign a victory at the conclusion of the Grand Slam of judo of Oulan-Bator, Sunday, in Mongolia. The other Canadian in action, Kyle Reyes (-100kg), was defeated in the second round after taking advantage of a first-round bye. Both did not get a ranking.
For the Canadian team, it is a scenario similar to that of the day before when Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-63 kg) and François Gauthier-Drapeau (-81 kg) had both seen their day come to an end in the second round.
A contrast with the day on Friday which had allowed the country to monopolize the first two steps of the women’s under 57 kg podium thanks to the performances of Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkait, respectively gold and silver medalists.
National coach Antoine Valois-Fortier says the presence of the Canadian team in the Mongolian capital was a good thing, even if the athletes have not had much rest since the presentation of the World Championships in early May.
“It was part of my thoughts [whether or not we go to this tournament], but it allows us to follow up with a good training block to prepare for the Masters tournament in early August. It was important for me that we get back into the swing of things and break the ice here before the Masters, so as not to have too big a break from competitions. […] Now, we are starting a big training phase and we will have tracks on which we can work in the next few weeks. »
Louis Krieber-Gagnon started his day with a win against the Mongolian Putsagtseren Ganbaatar. Things were then more difficult in the next round against the Hungarian and 2021 junior world champion, Peter Safrany, who ended his day with a bronze medal.
“It was tight. I had my chances to score, as he had his,” admitted the athlete from Montreal, referring to his last duel.
“It could have gone either way. There are situations where I could have been more opportunistic. […] It’s kind of part of the game. Despite everything, I come back with things to refine to work on for the next tournaments. »
In his second-round bout, Kyle Reyes went down against Poland’s Piotr Kuczera by waza-ari.
“His opponent had a good game plan, he neutralized him well and Kyle did not know how to express himself”, analyzed his coach.
Kuczera was defeated in one of the two bronze medal finals and finished the day in fifth place.
Canada’s top judokas will return to competition at the Masters tournament, which begins August 4 in Budapest, Hungary.