Montréal, June 24th, 2012 – Sasha Mehmedovic registered the best Canadian performance of the weekend, Sunday, finishing 7th in the under 66 kg class at the European Cup of Judo presented in Prague, Czech Republic.
Mehmedovic, ranked 24th in the world, won his first two bouts without much difficulty, eliminating the Israeli Gal Rosemarin and Algerian Ali Haddad. The Quebecer ended both fights in similar fashion by scoring decisive waza-aris.
In the quarterfinals, Mehmedovic was upset by the 182nd ranked Kazakh Bakdaulet Sabitov, who scored an ippon half way through the bout. In the L bracket, the Quebecois won his first fight by ippon versus the Pole Stanislaw Dabrowski, before falling in selfsame fashion to the Italian Elio Verde, ranked 216th in the world.
“It was good to get in a fair amount of bouts, preparation-wise, with the London Games right around the corner, Mehmedovic asserted. On the flip side, I wasn’t particularly satisfied with my fights. I wasn’t happy, specifically, with the two losses, because I know I could have done better against those opponents. That said, before arriving in Prague we had just finished a rigorous training session of several days in Belarus, so I think I was a bit mentally fatigued from that.”
Nicholas Tritton, meanwhile, was making a return to competition in the under 73 kg division after a lengthy layoff. The Quebecer, ranked 22nd in the world, won his first bout by waza-ari over the Czech judoka Jaromir Jezek (31st).
From there, Tritton would go on to defeat the Dutchman Tjeerd Tjeerdsma, scoring a late ippon for the victory. His next victim was German Stefan Friedrich, who also fell by ippon. In the quarters, it was the Quebecer’s turn to get a taste of his own medicine, falling to the 191st ranked Brit Patrick Dawson. Tritton went on to lose his first bout in the L bracket, bowing out against the Israeli Tomer Zakheim by yuko.
In the under 81 kg category, 20th ranked Quebecer Antoine Valois-Fortier finished 9th. In his first bout he took on the German Sven Maresch, ranked 15th in the world. Maresch would come out on top, scoring an ippon in the first minute of action.
In the L bracket, the Quebecois made quick work of the Czech Radek Dobias, registering an ippon just seconds into the fight. He would need two minutes in his next bout to record the same result against the Slovakian Peter Zilka. Valois-Fortier was eliminated in his fourth bout of the day, falling to the American Travis Stevens (8th), who won with an ippon in just over a minute.
On the women’s side, Nicole Jenicek (under 57 kg) started with a victory by ippon over the Czech Marketa Havlickova. She ran into a roadblock in the form of American Connie Ramsay in her next bout, losing by way of an ippon in the closing seconds. A loss in her first bout in the L bracket against the Albanian Nora Gjakova would leave Jenicek settling for a 9th place finish.
Elsewhere, Audrey Francis-Méthot lost both her bouts in the under 52 kg division; the first by ippon against the Albanian Majlinda Kelmendi, 7th in the world, followed by a defeat by waza-ari versus the German Verena Thumm.
As for Stéfanie Tremblay, she lost by ippon in her first bout in the under 63 kg class against the German Christiane Hofmann.