Montreal, August 31, 2017 (Sportcom) – A day to forget for the Canadian judokas at the Budapest World Championships this Thursday. None of Canada’s three athletes on the mat managed to win a match. Antoine Valois-Fortier and Étienne Briand were competing in the Under 81 kg class, while Stéfanie Tremblay was fighting in the Under 63 kg.
Antoine Valois-Fortier lost his first bout, against German Alexander Wieczerzak, by waza-ari during overtime. Wieczerzak kept a perfect record until the very end of the competition, when he beat Italy’s Matteo Marconcini and walked away a world champion.
“It was a tight match, and I wasn’t off to a good start,” said the two-time World Championship medallist from Beauport. “Two minutes in, I was back on top, but then I went down in overtime. My energy levels were good… It’s hard to say what happened.”
“He got in a technique he doesn’t use much, and I wasn’t prepared for it,” continued the Quebecer. “That’s the explanation I have for now. I need to revisit what happened to know for sure. Of course I am disappointed; this was the biggest event of the year. Now I need to go back and not make the same mistakes.”
The London Games bronze medallist had hip surgery in December. Five months into the recovery process, he feels he was ready to fight in the Hungarian capital.
“My prep wasn’t exactly the same as always, but it was excellent. I was ready and I felt good today.”
A similar scenario played out for Étienne Briand. He also pushed his first under 81 kg match into overtime and lost, to Brazilian Eduardo Yurdi Santos.
Meanwhile, in the women’s Under 63 kg division, Stéfanie Tremblay succumbed to Slovenia’s Andreja Leski.
On Friday, Zachary Burt and Louis Krieber-Gagnon will be competing in the Under 90 kg. Kelita Zupancic (Under 70 kg) and Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi (Under 78 kg) will also be representing the Maple Leaf in the competition.