Young Canadian Judokas Shine at US Open

Tuesday July 5th, 2011

Montreal, July 3, 2011 (Sportcom) – Team Canada earned six medals Sunday at the Judo US Open, held in Miami.  Saskatchewan’s Bishop Sommerfeld (Under 78 kg) won two matches to take the gold medal, while British Columbia’s Stefan Zwiers (2-1) took home silver in the Under 100 kg category.  Quebec’s Stefanie Tremblay (Under 63 kg, 2-1), Alexis Morin-Martel (Under 73 kg, 4-1) and Ontario’s Yacinta Nguyen-Huu (Under 70 kg, 2-1) and Tony Walby (Over 100 kg, 2-2) all merited bronze medals.
Held separately from the Miami Judo World Cup which took place on Friday and Saturday, the Judo US Open was the perfect occasion for young athletes to acquire experience, underlined National Coach Nicolas Gill, “It’s a new step in their development, and many of them are meeting international-level competitors for the first time.”
Among the impressive performances today, Gill highlighted that of Bishop Sommerfeld, who dominated the Under 78 kg category.  “She performed really well, in light of the fact that she doesn’t have a lot of experience internationally.  She bested judokas from the Fiji Islands and Israel who were regulars on the World Cup circuit.”
Coach Gill also noted Alexis Morin-Martel’s progress - comprising four victories - before being defeated in the semi-final – and earning one of two bronze medals at stake in the Under 73 kg category.  Morin-Martel was bested by Brazil’s Vinicius Panini – the eventual gold medallist – with an Ippon.
“Last month, Alexis won his first senior-level Canadian Championship; he’s confirming his position as ‘number two’ in the country, behind Sasha Mehmedovic.  Alexis’ matches today were very strong, especially when you consider that his category was among the most competitive at the tournament,” concluded Gill.
Quebec judokas Justin Imagawa (Under 73 kg, 2-2), Volodymr Semyrozum (Under 90 kg, 2-2) and Sara Mazouz (Under 70 kg, 2-2) all earned fifth places, as did Saskatchewan's Jordan Poliakiwski (Under 52 kg, 1-2).
On the tatami in the Under 60 kg category, Alexandre DiBartolo, Charles Breton-Leduc, Justin Karn and Diego Sanchez were all defeated in their first matches and did not obtain rankings.  Lisa Nakajima (Under 63 kg, 0-2), Guillaume Perrault (Under 81 kg, 1-2) and James McManus (Over 100 kg, 1-3) were also unranked at the end of the competition.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

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