Montreal, August 19, 2018 – Quebecois judoka Étienne Briand won the silver medal in the -81 kg category during the Minsk European Open, in Belarus. Injured during the season, Briand used the competition as an opportunity to find his marks and gain confidence before the much-awaited World Championships.
He started the day off by defeating Czech Jakub Jecminek, and Alu Bochkaev and David Gabaidze, both from Russia, in his 3 preliminary round fights.
He was up against another Russian, Gagik Zakarian, in the semi-finale. The bout was very close and went into overtime, before finally being won by the Quebecois, who scored an ippon after almost five and a half minutes.
Briand went on to the finale, against Georgian Zebeda Rekhviashvili, who quickly scored an ippon to win the gold medal.
“I know him well, but he took me by surprise in the beginning. He’s very explosive, and I was expecting to have to go through the first two minutes to tire him out, and then I’d have a chance. He executed a good move, and he got me this time,” explained the Sept-Îles native.
“What really matters is who will win during World Championships. What happens here is not that important.”
“Today was a good day. It was a great opportunity to fight in a tournament and to get back to it; I haven’t competed much this year, because of injuries. My goal was to gain confidence in my judo and to find my marks,” he said.
Fighting in the same category, Ontarian Danil Neyolov was defeated after his first fight against Belarusian Mikhail Salanenka.
In -90 kg, Mohab El Nahas scored 1 victory and 1 loss. He won his first fight by ippon against Belarusian Ruslan Knolik before being eliminated by Mihail Marchitan, from the United Arab Emirates.
On the women’s side, Quebecoise Alix Renaud-Roy and Mina Coulombe were both eliminated after their first fight.
Fighting in -70 kg, Renaud-Roy lost against Italian Alessandra Prosdocimo, and Coulombe, in -78 kg, lost by ippon against Belarusian Darya Kantsavaya.
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