Judoka Michael Fortin-Demers was Canada’s standout on the second day of competition at the world junior judo championships in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Quebec fighter finished with a record of four wins and two losses in the 66-kg category, battling for bronze before taking a fifth-place finish in the world event.
“Michael had a fantastic day. He lost his fight for the bronze medal due to an additional penalty that, in my opinion, he didn’t really deserve,” Canadian coach Marie-Hélène Chisholm said.
Fortin-Demers started his competition strongly, winning three consecutive bouts in the main table. After getting the better of Botswana’s Ahmael Thaga, South African Leroy Davids and the German Maxim Shitov, the Quebecer finally fell to Russian Magomed Akhamarov in the quarterfinals by way of ippon.
Drawn again into a bracket for single-match losers, Fortin-Demers disposed of the Kazakh Yertugan Torenov, but came come up short in the bronze medal bout against the Korean judoka Dongkyo Lee.
“I prepared all year long for this very competition and my objective was to win a medal. The level of competition was pretty high and I know that a fifth-place finish at the worlds is a good result. I took out some big names and was able to string together some good performances, but it still stings a bit that I wasn’t able to come away with a medal,” Fortin-Demers said.
Other Canadians saw their days ended much quicker. In the 57-kg class, Ontarian Nicole Jenicek was able to win her first bout by ippon versus Australian Angela Vasic, but fell in the second round to the Romanian Lorenada Ohai.
As for New Brunswicker Vanessa St-Pierre (52 kg), Quebecer Arthur Margelidon (73 kg), and Ontarian Derek Langlois (73 kg), none were able to win their respective first round bouts. Like Jenicek, all three judokas were in their first go-round at the junior world championships.
Saturday, Quebec athletes Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (63 kg), Marie-Ève DeVillers-Matte (70 kg) and Marc Deschênes (90 kg), as well as the British Columbian Brandon Jobb (81 kg) will be on the mats.