The Olympic adventures of judokas Joliane Melançon of Blainville, Que., and Nicholas Tritton of Chateauguay, Que., both ended after their opening bouts at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The loss at the ExCel Centre marked the end of the Olympic tournament for Melancon. It may be the end of a career for Tritton.
Tritton, competing in the under-73 kg class, was beaten by Uzbekistan's Navruz Jurakobilov. Both men received defence-position penalties in the first half of the match, but Tritton received another penalty with one minute left in the bout – and that would spell the difference in the regulation five minutes of action. Tritton gave Jurakobilov a final shot, taking him to the ground with 12 seconds left, but it was too little too late.
"It was so close to being successful, and I have no idea how he got out of it," said Tritton who said he would take a step back from competitions and consider whether he wants to continue competing. He is ranked 32nd internationally and has been fighting for 18 years and the loss was an emotional blow.
"My second penalty was a bit questionable. … I've invested years in judo, and I really wanted to give something back to Judo Canada, who've supported me since the beginning," Tritton said.
"I wanted my daughters [aged 2 1/2 and 3 months] at home to be proud of me – it's so hard."
"So close, just 30 seconds where Nick had been a little more passive and the other guy would have taken advantage," analyzed Canadian head coach Nicolas Gill. "And at the end, at the projection, the other guy just, just got out it of. The Uzbek judoka didn't fight as he usually does, I would have never thought that bout would end in penalties."
Melançon, at under-57 kg, was defeated on a 25-second immobilization by Austria's Sabrina Filmoser, after a fast start in which the Canadian took an early lead with a waza-ari.
"It was a bout that was within reach, and I made a mistake, I find that hard to take. It's been a long time since I've been immobilized, which adds to the disappointment," commented Melançon, who is ranked 13th internationally. "Generally speaking, I'm the one who dominates the ground. Today, I was the one on top, my sleeves trapped and I couldn't do a thing. When she started to roll, I knew that even if I could get out if it, it was too late."
Marie-Hélène Chisholm, coach of Canada's women said that Filmoser – ranked 14th internationally – had performed a special move in earning the win. "She uses it a lot to win, and there are very few people who are able to replicate that move in practice."
Antoine Valois-Fortier, competing at under 81-kg, will be the only Canadian in judo action on Tuesday.