Judo Canada athletes won three more medals on Day 2 of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, bringing their total to four so far halfway through the competition.
Canada was guaranteed two medals heading into the final rounds on Sunday with Antoine Bouchard (men’s 66kg) and Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (women’s 57kg) moving to the final. But it was a podium result from a hardworking Arthur Margelidon in the men’s 73kg class, that stole the show after he took the long way to the evening session.
Bouchard beat Fernando Gonzalez of Argentina and Cuban Carlos Tondique before Charles Chibana of Brazil got the better of him in the final. The 20-year old took his loss in stride, noting that Chibana is an opponent he had yet to face and that the Brazilian “is sixth in the world I am 16th. I did not make many mistakes.”
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Also bringing home a silver is 21-year old Beauchemin-Pinard, who wasn’t as forgiving about her gold medal loss, voicing her displeasure saying, “I could have won this one as well. We are equal three wins, and three losses. It’s not bad but I have some things to improve on.” Beauchemin-Pinard registered victories over a Cuban and Brazilian opponent before losing to Marti Malloy of the United States.
With two final round defeats, the Canadian crowd latched its hopes for an evening win to Margelidon, who lost his first match and went through repechage for a chance to win the bronze. There, Brazilian Alex William Pombo Silva took the early lead but his opponent persisted and won by Ippon at the four-minute mark.
Margelidon’s comeback brought the crowd to life, which had been dominated by visiting fans, until the Canadian suddenly sprung to life and changed the complexion of the match. The 21-year old credited “doing the opposite of what I’ve been doing all day” to his victory.
“I had a pretty bad day at the beginning, losing my first one because I lost my concentration.”
“I already fought this guy before and put pressure on him and never stopped.”
On Monday four Canadians will vie for judo medals at the Mississauga Sports Centre. On the women’s side Stefanie Tremblay (63kg) and Kelita Zupancic (70kg) will see action, while the Burt brothers, Zachary (81kg) and Jonah (90kg) are up on the men’s side of the draw.