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Belgian Ladies Open in Arlon a satisfying warmup for new judo generation
6 Feb 2017 21:10
Finally, the results of the Belgian Ladies Open for women are public. Thanks to the organisation, it took more than a day to publish the results, but now we can enjoy. Although we had seen Facebook posts with the medalists, we can now finally conclude the women of Japan and Cuba both took two gold medals.
The Japanese team collected ten medals in total. Typical for their successful weekend in Europe.
Overwhelming was the all-Canadian U63kg final between Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard and Emily Burt. Burt and Beauchemin-Pinard climbed to the first and second levels of the podium, respectively. The Canadians had each lost only one bout when they faced off in the final. It was a tight match with Burt taking the victory in overtime. “It was an intense and exciting bout. I think I was just more focused and determined. I really wanted the win so I pushed just a little harder to get it,” commented Burt, who also competed in the junior tournament on Saturday.
It was the first time Beauchemin-Pinard met Burt in competition. The 22-year-old judoka from Saint-Hubert usually competes in the U57kg group but decided to forego losing weight for this tournament, which is the first in a long series of European competitions.
“Emily Burt is not an easy opponent. Her judo style is really different from what I’m used to. I enjoy competing against her but she makes me work hard. After such a long match, I would have liked to come out on top. I’m a bit disappointed in that respect, but overall, I’m happy with my day,” explained Beauchemin-Pinard.
The Canadians picked up a few medals in both in Arlon and Vise, where the men competed this weekend. The French teams were also successful across Europe, not only in Sofia and Lisbon, but also in Vise and Arlon, Belgium. The golden girl was Amandine Buchard who took the cup home just three weeks after her victory at the African Open in Tunis. France won at least one medal in each category, ten in total.
British Gemma Howell was excited to be back on the tatami and with her golden performance she could not have been happier. She defeated Agathe Devitry (FRA) in the final. After winning seven contests, she was extremely pleased with the limited pain in her body after her knee operation in April last year.
Japanese heavyweight Hikaru Kodama won both the junior and senior tournaments in Arlon. Cuban Vanesa Godines Aleman took bronze in the juniors, but won the U48kg final on Sunday. Japanese Chishima Maeda won the juniors but took bronze on Sunday in the U52kg senior division.
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