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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Canadians strong at junior European Cup in Paks


France became the winner of the European Cup with even 6 gold medals, Ukraine and Canada finished second.“John’s game plan was simple, and by sticking to it, he won all three of his fights. I’m really happy for him. He was very disappointed with his results last week. Today (Sunday), he came back strong and made it very clear that he was after the gold medal,” said the coach.Messé A Bessong finished third at the Slovenj Gradec Junior European Cup in Slovenia last weekend.Tsatsalashvili had a great start to the day, winning four consecutive matches to advance to the semi-final, where he faced Aron Szabo of Hungary, who bested him by ippon with 15 seconds to go in the bout.Mehmedovic expressed great pride in his athletes’ performances this season. They have come a long way in the past year.Three Canadians stepped onto the podium on Sunday at the Paks Junior European Cup in Hungary. John Jr. Messé A Bessong (+100 kg) and Jumber Meladze (-81 kg) earned the top spots on the podium in their respective categories.In the gold medal final, Messé A Bessong was up against Mathys Gomes Da Silva of France. The Canadian dispatched of his opponent in 42 seconds. According to Canadian coach Sasha Mehmedovic, the crushing victory was extremely satisfying for Messé A Bessong.Rather than wallow in defeat, however, Tsatsalashvili roared back with a decisive victory over Lenz Naprudnik of Austria in the bronze medal final.“This weekend in Hungary has been very satisfying. Most of our athletes have seen a significant improvement over last year. Our plan was to have them fight as much as possible to gain experience, and it’s clearly already paying off.”“Jumber was extremely dominant all day. He won the final very quickly by immobilizing his opponent on the ground. He followed his game plan to the letter, and we couldn’t have asked for a better result,” noted Mehmedovic.“Over the past few months, Lasha has been very consistent. I’m really happy for him. He’s heading in the right direction. We know what we need to work on to get him to the top of the podium,” said Canadian coach Sasha Mehmedovic.Jumber Meladze was just as dominant in the under-81 kg category today. He sailed through his first three bouts undefeated to advance to the semi-finals, where he defeated Vukan Stanimirovic of Serbia in less than 90 seconds.Meladze’s final challenger of the day was Marcell Demeter of Hungary. The Ontarian was even more expeditious in that fight, disposing of Demeter by ippon in 57 seconds to win his second Junior European Cup of the year, having also prevailed in Sarajevo last March.On Saturday, Lasha Tsatsalashvili secured his third consecutive Junior European Cup medal, winning bronze in the under-73 kg weight division. The Ontarian finished the day with a record of five wins and one loss at the Paks Junior European Cup in Hungary.Following a first-round bye, Messé A Bessong faced Gyorgy Lakatos of Hungary in the second round. The Québécois bested his opponent in less than three minutes to advance to the semi-finals, where he soundly defeated Levente Dobos, also of Hungary.

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