Montréal, February 24, 2013 – After winning a bronze medal last week at the Budapest Continental Open, Antoine Valois-Fortier matched that performance on Sunday, at the Düsseldorf Grand Prix. The Quebecois judoka once again was able to capture the bronze medal in the under 81 kg class.
“My last two outings were a better reflection of how good I can be. I came back strong after the Paris Grand Slam, and I’m quite happy with the results,” the 12th ranked Valois-Fortier iterated.
After benefitting from a bye through the first round, the 22-year-old judoka won his first three matches by ippon over the Senegalese Baye Diawara (84th), German Conrad Hannes (123rd) and the Kazakh Aziz Kalkamanuly (124th).
The only man to stop Valois-Fortier on the day was the 7th ranked Georgian Avtandil Tchrikishvili, who beat him in the semi-final bout. Silver medallist in Paris two weeks ago, Tchrikishvili defeated his compatriot Levan Tsiklauri in the final to claim the title in Düsseldorf.
“He’s really one of the toughest competitors in my category at the moment. The bout got off to a good start. I might have been a bit too confident going in, though. I tried to counter one of his moves and I got taken down hard. It didn’t last long,” concluded Valois-Fortier, who would recover nicely in his bronze medal duel.
Matched up against Aliaksandr Stsiashenka (38th) of Belarus, Valois-Fortier scored an ippon with a throw after a little more than two minutes into the bout.
“He has a very particular style. He likes to get in on the body, so he was pushing forward a lot. I had to use my height advantage to keep enough distance in order to execute a throw, ” Valois-Fortier explained. The Quebecer will take full advantage of a break in the action before participating in the Pan-American Championships, which will occur around mid-April in Costa Rica.
Roberge and Zupancic finish 7th
After a terrific two week stint saw her win silver in the under 70 kg class at the Paris Grand Slam and gold at the Oberwart Continental Open in Austria, Kelita Zupancic was hoping to maintain her winning form this weekend in Germany.
The 22-year-old Ontarian came up short, unfortunately, finishing in 7th position.
The day would actually begin quite well for her, defeating the Hungarian Franciska Szabo (69th) by ippon. Zupancic was ousted in her next duel, however, losing to the Korean Kim Seong Yeon (24th), the same judoka she beat in the finals last week in Oberwart.
In the repechage, the Canadian lost to the Tunisian Houda Miled (17th) by ippon.
Catherine Roberge, ranked 11th in the world at -78 kg, also finished her day with a 7th place classification. After winning her first bout by ippon against the Dutchwoman Guusje Steenhuis (66th), the Quebecoise was beaten by the Japanese Ruika Sato (12th). She then suffered defeat at the hands of the German Luize Malzahn (16th) by way of an ippon in the repechage.