(Sportcom) – Antoine Bouchard came close to securing the second medal for the Canadian judo team at the Doha Masters Tournament on Tuesday in Qatar.
The judoka finally lost to Uzbek Khikmatillokh Turaev, eighth in the world, depriving him of a bronze medal in the under 73 kg.
The Canadian went on the offensive from the first moments of the fight, but failed to register for the score. Turaev, a bronze medalist at the Paris Grand Slam last winter, surprised Bouchard with just over a minute to go in regulation time by sending him to the floor to score the waza-ari and take the lead.
“When he threw me, it was a technique that I did not expect at all. It was done at the right time and he managed to get me on it, ”admitted Bouchard.
Despite several attempts, the 26-year-old judoka was unable to retaliate in the last minute. His opponent bet on the defense to stay in control until the very end and climb to the third step of the podium.
“I was exasperated, because I found that he took his time between the exchanges and I felt him really tired. I was too, but the adrenaline was helping me as I was falling behind. I followed the plan, but he slowed down after scoring and he could attempt attacks to look good without necessarily putting me in danger, ”he added.
Bouchard suffered his first defeat of the tournament in the semi-finals by bending his back against the Japanese and 2017 world champion, Hashimoto Soichi. Ranked second in the world, Soichi then confessed to defeating in the final ahead of the South Korean Changrim An, who occupies the thirteenth place in the world rankings.
“I applied the plan to the letter, but the Japanese have a style of judo which is quite good against mine. I didn’t impose myself as I should have. I used a lot of energy to try to attract him to me, it was not always effective and I ran out of juice, ”analyzed the defending Pan American champion.
In his first three clashes, the athlete from Saguenay was right by ippon of Ukrainian Artem Khomula, Swede Tommy Macias and Victor Sterpu, from Moldova.
Despite everything, this fifth place remains the best result of his career at a Masters Tournament, he who had also participated in those of Rabat in 2015 and Guadalajara, in 2016.
“Before arriving here, I felt confident and wanted to get as far as possible. I managed to beat three strong opponents and that’s what I remember. It’s a big tournament and I managed to perform at the right time. We will hope that it continues. “
A victory and a setback for Briand
On the under 81 kg side, Étienne Briand took part in a first competition in nearly a year, he who had bypassed the Budapest Grand Slam as well as the Pan American Championships this fall.
He ended his day with a 1-1 record. The 27-year-old defeated Puerto Rican Adrian Gandia before being defeated in overtime to Bulgaria’s Ivaylo Ivanov, a possible bronze medalist.
Antoine Valois-Fortier had a short outing against Uuganbaatar Otgonbaatar of Mongolia, losing by ippon.
The only Canadian in action on Tuesday, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard lost in overtime in her only fight of the day against Austrian Magdalena Krssakova in the under 63 kg category.