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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Second Victory for Antoine Bouchard at Pan American Open


Bouchard won his first two bouts of the day before going on to defeat Cuba’s Magdiel Estrada, ranked 20th in the world, in the semifinals.In the men’s U60 category, Ecuadorian judoka Bryan Garboa emerged victorious at his young age of 21, while his compatriot, Steven Morocho (25), secured the silver medal.”It hasn’t been that long since Antoine returned to competition after his operation, he hasn’t felt this good for a long time and he was able to beat some excellent opponents. It’s a very good result and it’s proof that he’s back in form”, commented Émond.Brazil continued, Willian Lima from Brazil clinched first place in the U66 category, with Juan Postigos from Peru taking the silver.Brazilian judoka Yasmim Lima dominated the U52 category, taking home the gold medal, while Yurisleidy Hernandez Iglesias from Cuba exhibited her talent but had to be satisfied with the silver.Back in international competition since February after a major operation, Canadian Antoine Bouchard took a huge step in the right direction with his victory in the under 81 kg category on Saturday at the Pan American Open in Guayaquil, Ecuador.”Estrada is an excellent judoka and I think Antoine was very pleased to have beaten him. He managed to wear him down. It was a strategy that paid off in the final fight.”Brazilian former world champion and Olympic Champion Rafaela Silva reigned supreme in the U57kg category, earning the gold medal, while Jessica Lima, also from Brazil secured the silver. Brazil was strong as also the U63 category witnessed Brazilian judoka Ketleyn Quadros’s exceptional performance, as she claimed the gold medal. Gabriella Moraes, also from Brazil took the second place against Quadros (35) who is up for the Olympics in Paris with this form. She won Olympic bronze in Beijing in 2008.The Pan American Open in Guayaquil saw some top athletes on the tatami last weekend especially in the women’s division. Cubas legend Idalys Ortiz proved her dominance in the O78 category, claiming the gold medal. Moira Morillo from the Dominican Republic showcased her skills as well and earned the silver despite her final loss.The U48 category saw a dazzling performance by Brazilian judoka Amanda Lima, who seized the gold medal, while Mary Dee Vargas Ley from Chile took silver in Guayaguil where last year the Junior World Championships were held.Bouchard continued his journey to the final where he met Colombian Andres Sandoval. With the score tied at the very last second of the fight, Bouchard launched an attack that sent his opponent to the floor. After consulting the video replay, officials confirmed the Quebecer’s victory.Agustin Gil from Argentina claimed the gold medal in the U81 category, with Medickson Del Orbe took silver. In the U90 category, Robert Florentino from the Dominican Republic seized the gold after his victory against Yuta Galarreta Villar from Peru.In the O100 category, it was Cuban 2022 World Champion Andy Granda who claimed the gold medal, not a surprise against Jose Nova from the Dominican Republic.Dominican judoka Eiraima Silvestre took home the gold medal U78kg while Vanessa Chala from Ecuador couldn’t resist Silvestre in the final.Puerto Rican judoka María Pérez was finally in her favourite area and emerged as the champion in the U70 category, while Diana Brenes from Costa Rica came second.”It was a big fight in the final, Sandoval adjusted to Antoine’s style. It came down to the very last second, it was like a last-second winning shot in basketball. He started his maneuver just before the end of regulation time and that’s how he won”, added Émond.Bouchard also won at the Pan American Open in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in April. However, Canadian coach Alexandre Émond is convinced that Saturday’s victory is much more appreciated for Bouchard, given the high calibre of the athletes present in Guayaquil.Brazilian judoka Leonardo Goncalves emerged triumphant in the U100 category, while his compatriot Rafael Buzacarini secured the silver medal this time.

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