There is a thin line between success and failure. That was the case for the visiting Azeri team as they came within a whisker of such success and taking all three gold medals on day one of the European Open for Men in Oberwart. That was until Lukas REITER (AUT) stepped up to snatch the -73kg title from Telma VALIEV (AZE).

It would be harsh in the extreme to look at the Azeri team’s performance as anything other than success (but one could ask Valiev for his thoughts). For the Austrians Reiter’s win, which followed on from gold medal winning performances from Mehman SADIGOV (AZE) in the -60kg and Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE) at -66kg, was the highlight of an admittedly unspectacular day crowned by a sublime finish. It would have been hard to script such an ending, Retier throwing Valiev for ippon in the final, but that is what happened. With that result, the Austrian’s found themselves second in the medal table as opposed to completely out of it. It is indeed a thin line.


Beauchemin-Pinard disappointed with her fifth place

Montréal, February 17, 2018 – Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard ranked in 5th position in the -63 kg category at the European Open in Rome, Italy.

Beauchemin-Pinard is hoping for a podium next week
Photo credit: Rafal Burza

She won her first bout of the day by ippon against Italian Martina Greci before losing by ippon in the second round against French Maëlle Di Cintio, who went on to win the gold medal.

“Catherine’s day today didn’t go as she had hoped, but she managed to gain some valuable experience. In her second round, she made a tactical error against the French fighter and lost in the last seconds of the match,” commented her coach, Sasha Mehmedovic.

Beauchemin-Pinard had to go through repechage, in which she quickly made it clear for her opponent, Italian Anna Righetti, that she wouldn’t lose another fight.

The judoka from Saint-Hubert won by ippon after only 21 seconds, a result that sent her to the bronze medal fight.

She was against another Italian, Edwige Gwend, who won the bronze medal by ippon, placing Beauchemin-Pinard in 5th place.

“For bronze she lost her focus and got caught in a choke against the Italian player. She will learn from the mistakes she made today and try to climb on the podium next weekend at the Düsseldorf Grand Slam,” added Mehmedovic.

-63 kg
1 Maëlle Di Cintio (FRA)
2 Tina Zeltner (AUT)
3 Edwige Gwend (ITA)
3 Geke Van Den Berg (NED)
5 Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (CAN)
5 Laerke Olsen (DEN)
7 Ines Prévot (FRA)


Quick elimination for Canadians in Austria

During the European Open in Oberwart, in Austria, in the -73 kg category, Warren Seib and Bradley Langlois both had 1 victory and 1 loss, while Jacob Valois and Antoine Bouchard both lost by waza-ari during their first bout. None of them got a ranking.

Seib first won his fight against German Martin Setz in the first round before losing by waza-ari against Lukas Reiter from Austria.

Langlois won against Naim Matt from Switzerland in the first round, but was defeated by Kazakh Zhanbolat Bagtbergenov in his second bout.

Same story in Spain

Arno Blacquière and David Teper, both fighting in the -55 kg category in the Cadet European Cup in Fuengirola, in Spain, both lost during their third bout of the day.

Blacquière first won by ippon against Israeli Dean Katalan Tagansky and Portuguese Nuno Martins before losing in the third round against British Artur Patemian.

Teper was defeated by Spanish Alexis Aznal Santaren after winning by ippon against Swedish Leo Gruber and by waza-ari against Portuguese Goncalo Oliveira.

Malcom Pelletier (-60 kg), Bogdan Jora (-66 kg) and Justin Lemire (-66 kg) all ended with 1 victory and 1 loss.

On the women’s team, Andrée-Ann Somers (-44 kg) and Sarah Maloum (-52 kg) were eliminated after the first round.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
Information: 514-990-0966 | 1-866-990-0966


The first day of the European Judo Open 2018 saw Japan winning two gold medals whilst Spain and France picked up a piece each. The Italian team earned three bronzes, one of which was produced by London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, Rosalba FORCINITI.

Rosalba FORCINITI (in white) after her bronze medal winning contest in the -52 kg category

Forciniti last competed in March 2014 at the Tbilisi Grand Prix before retiring from high level performance. Soon she gave birth to her first born, Alida and a little over a year ago her second child was born, Romeo. Four years and two beautiful children later, Forciniti returned to Sportshall Palapellicone to shine at home once more in the -52 kg category. She revealed her thoughts after the medal ceremony; 

“I got back to full time training about 3 months ago. I did train before but not on a regular basis. To be selected for this tournament I needed to win a medal at the nationals which took place exactly two weeks ago. I managed to win it which meant I will be on board for this weekend.”

“I was not nervous at all coming into this event. Fighting home is everything for me, my mission, my life. And now that I have two children I feel stronger within as they carry my power.”

“For me I think it is mainly about the challenge of trying new elements on the mat, this is what drives and motivates me, the opportunity to challenge myself every time.” 

“I have no idea what’s now. I don’t have any plans so I can’t tell you what’s next. In regards to today, I feel tired and missing my children but overall I am happy, competing at home is always emotional. Kisses and hugs to my kids, mummy is coming home.” 

Edwige GWEND (in blue) during her bronze medal contest in the -63 kg category

One of the other Italian bronze medal won by Edwige GWEND in the -63 kg category. This moring, WRL #11 and number one seed, excelled during her first two contest and only lost out in the semis against Tina ZELTNER (AUT). Gwend surely has bigger fish to fry, yet, we asked her overall feelings of today;

“It was a pity to lose the semifinal but I am happy to finish with a medal. Unlike others, I don’t get pumped when competing at home, I rather get nervous and pressured if anything. Especially for this reason I am pleased with the medal at the end. I will be competing at the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam and then prepare for the Europeans. Nevertheless, in the meantime, as my primary targets I am focusing on my kumikata and to be able to finish my attacks as well as improving in newaza. This is what I have been focusing on today as well.”

Thumbs Up from Maelle DI CINTIO of France after her winning performance in the -63 kg category

Long time, no see French judoka, Maelle DI CINTIO ended her day in golden style. After almost a three-year break due to an injury and a quiet a few warrior scars on her knee, Di Cintio managed to return last year June when she won the European Cup in Slovenia. To regain her spot in the national team, she won the French nationals in November last year. From this moment, she was ready to fulfill her ambitions. Today, she saw herself back on the top of the podium in the -63 kg category. The 26-year-old judoka looked fit and healthy with full of energy throughout the day. After her winning performance, she expressed her desires;

“My ambition now is to go up on the WRL so that I can be considered as part of the national team for the upcoming European Championships. It has been 5 years since I attended at my last Senior Europeans. This is my desire now to be part of the team for the Europeans and to excel there. I will take every chance I have to make it happen.”

During any injuries, it is not easy to keep motivated, especially when it last as long as almost three years. How did you hold it together?

“Good question. To be honest prior to my injury my body already kept on telling me to take a rest. I underperformed and I was tired, which made me push myself even harder. I changed club to follow my coach, Anthony Rodriguez, and we just kept going with the route for recovery. At the time, before my injury, I was tired in my head and in my body, I did not want to do it. So, life took a decision for me and now I am fully recovered and full of ambitions, loving it all over again.”

“When you on the judo mat, you don’t realize how lucky you are but the minute you have to spend every single day at the medical center and you are drifting away from the atmosphere of judo and the joy it has been giving to you, it is the time you began to understand what has been taken away from you. At least I did. Above all, no regrets, now I am back with 200%. Time goes fast, I will take all opportunities I can.” 

Tomorrow will bring on the remaining three weigh categories: -70 kg, -78 kg and +78 kg. The tournament will start 11.30am local time.



The upcoming weekend will see over 500 judoka competing across two locations, Italy and Austria, for the annual European Judo Open. All ladies from 25 different nations will be heading to Rome whilst men booked in to Oberwart for the weekend. For some, this weekend will be a test and preparation for the upcoming World Tour Events.

The women will fight in Rome this year.

The #JudoRome2018 will take place at the Sportshall Palapellicone which is located in Ostia by the side of the National Olympic Center. The competition is set to kick off with 38 athletes from the host nation. Double Olympian, Edwige GWEND has taken the top seeded position in the -63 kg category with high hopes to fulfil from the spectators. Similar awaits for Assunta GALEONE, who is leading the entry list in the -78 kg category. However, according to the notes, the -63 kg and -70 kg categories seems to have one of the strongest line ups. Despite seven Japanese athletes, other elites are also heading to Italy from overseas; forinstance multiply Continental Championships winner, IJF World Tour medallist and Rio 2016 Olympian, Kelita ZUPANCIC (CAN).

Oberwart welcomes the male athletes.

At #JudoOberwart2018, Sporthalle Oberwart will welcome all for an exciting event. Athletes from 43 different nations will visit town this weekend. The Austrian crew is made of 25 judoka, including a very strong heavy weight triads, Christoph KRONBERGER, Daniel ALLERSTORFER and Stephan HEGYI. The latter is top seeded. Young ones like Vache ADAMYAN will have a real challenge heading into the competition. The French team is also coming with a strong troop including Walide KHYAR (-60 kg) and Alexandre IDDIR (-100 kg). In regards to overseas potential, an eight people Japanese team has also entered.

Both events will be available to follow live online via Both competitions will start at 10am (local time). Hajime! 

Passing of Bill Clark-sensei

William (“Bi;;”) Archie Clark, age 77 years, passed away Friday, February 09, 2018 at his residence in Essexville, Michigan. He was born on July 30, 1940 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the son of the late William E. and Phyllis (Fellows) Clark. Bill was united in marriage to Rosalind Barnett on September 24, 1960 and she preceded […]

A great weekends results from CJC

A great weekends results from CJC



Paris Grand Slam Results:

Ashley McKenzie under 60 kg won a bronze medal in style at Bercy Staduim Paris.




Danish Open results:

Henry Wakes Gold in the juniors and Bronze in the seniors in under 60 kg.

Molly Harvey Silver in the juniors and Gold in the seniors in the under 52 kg.



Jura Team Competition, Swiss League:

Owen Livesey won both his fights in the under 90 kg.



The Scottish Open Results:

Cameron Charles – Gold
Oliver Penny – 5th
Tom Kirk – 7th
Lucy Slape – 7th

Danny Williams said the Juniors performed well and trained hard the next day at the training day.

Overall I pretty successful weekend from the whole club. Well done everyone!




Week 6: Grading, newaza shiai & randori

For Week 6, we did not work on new techniques. Instead, we revised some techniques we've been learning in recent weeks.

But before the session began, we had a simple ceremony awarding yellow belt to Kenneth, who has mastered all the techniques needed for yellow belt. Different countries have different syllabuses for belt colors and even different clubs have pretty different standards. I've seen yellow belts who hardly knew any techniques. At KL Judo we've set a pretty high standard. The players are required to know five standing and five groundwork techniques. Plus a set of Japanese terms. Kenneth passed with flying colors. In the coming weeks and months we will have more players "graduating" to yellow belt. I think it's about time. Anyone who sees our videos can see our players are pretty good fighters for white belts. But being a good fighter, of course, is not enough. They must know the techniques in the syllabus. Our ideal is that our colored belts are players who (a) know the techniques (b) fight well. One without the other is not sufficient.

Taping up the fingers ahead of the gripping drills.

Athletic tape is such a necessity when you do competition training.

After the players finished their gripping drills, we had some "hanging" contests.

How long can you hold on?
A good way to test gripping strength
We also did some newaza shiai for the first time.

But we can't end the session without some standing randori and shiai.

Medical Manual updated

Our OJU medical officer has just uploaded a new 2018 MEdical manual which can be found HERE or by looking through the medical resource tab in the menu above. we have also added a new Adverse Effects to Supplements article … Read More


Sally CONWAY (GBR) -70kg

Great Britain’s sole Olympic medallist from Rio De Janeiro came up trumps today, her well-rehearsed ne waza against the French player, Maria Eva GAHIE in the semi-final secured her a place to battle it out for gold. CONWAY’s final was extremely strong, neither judoka receiving penalties, displaying positive and progressive judo skills. The GBR athlete seized the moment and countered World Champion ARAI Chizuru (JPN), following through in to ne waza, holding her opponent whilst watching the clock run down as the gold medal neared her grasp.

Final against Arai Chizuru (JPN)

Sally is the first British athlete to secure a gold in Paris since 2003, holding that record was Craig FALLON. When asking how she felt,

“I’m speechless, I had the best crowd behind me and it was the best feeling though I haven’t quite processed it, it’s hard to put it in to words.”

The judoka was gushing from her achievement today, “when it sinks in later it’ll be amazing, was great to share this with my family; my parents and step parents are in the crowd today” – her timing was impeccable.

Great atmosphere in AccorHotels Arena in Paris Bercy.

Fighting the current World Champion makes you think differently about a fight as CONWAY explains,

“this was massive for me, ARAI’s form has been brilliant, I planned to take one exchange at a time and this worked for me.”

ARAI took gold in the Paris Grand Slam 2017, as well as the Dusseldorf Grand Slam in the same year.

“I’d say this was the biggest win of my career, I intend to stick to my programme and come back for the Dusseldorf Grand Slam,”

with this injection of confidence she will be ready to take it in her stride and hopefully take another title from ARAI.

Strong in ne-waza. Sally Conway also won her semi-final against Marie Eve Gahie (FRA) with osae-komi-waza.

As previously mentioned, her ne waza skills enabled her to conquer the division, with that final smooth and effortless move we asked if this is a main part of training and repertoire,

“it was simply second nature, it is such an important part of my training and I was ready to do that dance.”

Despite having a more relaxed 2017 with some well-deserved time off after her tremendous Olympic cycle, CONWAY appears to be taking 2018 by the horns and delivering on her ability to perform on the tatami. 

Audrey TCHEUMEO (FRA) -78kg

With a collection of nine medals, France had two leading ladies this weekend, the latter being Audrey TCHEUMEO in the -78kg category. With consistently strong bouts throughout the day, she earned herself a place in the final and delighted the crowd with a golden score finish against Guusje STEENHUIS (NED). This gold will be her fourth at the Paris Grand Slam, a favourite tournament of TCHEUMEOs.

The European Champion and Olympic silver medallist will be looking to improve her World Championship record after placing seventh last year in Budapest. After her performance today, she looks strong as ever and there is no doubt she will carry on making her mark throughout 2018 and the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. ALLEZ AUDREY!

Michael KORREL (NED) -100kg

France wasn’t the only country gracing the podium throughout the weight categories, the Netherlands team were also out in full force today. Out of the seven potential medals for the Netherlands on day 2, four were attained, but the only gold came from the -100kg Michael KORREL. In his past two tournaments KORREL has been forced to settle for second place but he made it clear that 2018 will not follow in the same pattern. His strength, confidence and talent brought him the gold medal in the Paris Grand Slam 2018. With two Dutch bronze medals and one silver already in the bag for the team it was meant to be that KORREL completed the collection.

The 23-year-old will be looking to hold on to his World ranking first place position, so will be aiming to conquer the tournaments to come.

Valois-Fortier finishes in fifth place in Paris

Montreal, February 11, 2018 – Olympian Antoine Valois-Fortier (-81 kg) ranked in 5th position at the Paris Grand Slam, in France. The judoka from Quebec had a heartbreaking loss during his fight for third place against Nugzari Tatalashvili, from Georgia.

Antoine Valois-Fortier is disappointed with his final ranking

“During the final for bronze, I was able to score twice, but they took the point back each time. My energy was down at the end, and he was able to score during overtime. This fifth place leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I really thought I could go in the final today,” commented the athlete.

“I thought I had scored twice, and they ended up not giving me the points. Maybe I got distracted. I was looking at the referees, and I was a little confused, so during the next sequence I wasn’t focused enough and he scored.”

After winning against Turkish Vedat Albayrak by getting him three penalties, and against Belgian Matthias Casse by ippon in his first 2 preliminary bouts, he also won the quarterfinal by waza-ari against Dutch Frank De Wit in a fight that lasted over 6 minutes. Valois-Fortier, from Beauport, then lost the semi-final against Japanese Fujiwara.

Zachary Burt (-90 kg) had 1 victory and 1 loss. He first won by waza-ari against Eduardo Bettoni, from Brazil, before losing by ippon against Spanish Nikoloz Sherazadishvili. Burt finished in 9th place.

Étienne Briand (-81 kg) was eliminated after the first round, where Portuguese Anri Egutidze won by ippon. Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-90 kg) also lost in the first round, in which French Ibrahim Keita won by waza-ari.

In the -70 kg category, Alix Renaud-Roy and Emily Burt lost early in the day and didn’t get a ranking.

-81 kg
1 Sotaro Fujiwara (JPN)
2 Seungsu Lee (KOR)
3 Frank De Wit (NED)
3 Nugzari Tatalashvili (GEO)
5 Jaromir Musil (CZE)
5 Antoine Valois-Fortier (CAN)
7 Ivaylo Ivanov (BUL)
7 Victor Penalber (BRA)


Arencibia wins bronze in Italy

Alexandre Arencibia (-81 kg) won his bout against Italian Daniele Accogli by ippon for the bronze medal at the Cadet European Cup in Follonica, Italy.

He won his 3 fights during the preliminary rounds, notably one against Romanian Alex Cret that lasted over 8 minutes and a half, in which the Quebecois judoka won by waza-ari. In the semi-final, Arencibia lost against Italian Alessio Graziani.

Samia Boussarhane (-63 kg) lost in repechage against Slovak Stasa Kolar. She had won her first fight, and lost the second.

In the -73 kg category, Jérémie Lapointe won his first round by waza-ari against Italian Raffaele Verdirame, but soon lost against Botond Toth, from Hungary, who won by ippon. Jules Martin and Justin Lemire lost their first fights of the day and didn’t get a ranking.

Rachel Krapman (-57 kg) and Coralie Godbout (-70 kg) were also eliminated in the first round, and didn’t get a ranking.

-81 kg
1 Alessio Graziani (ITA)
2 Andrej Yankovskyy (SLO)
3 Alexandre Arencibia (CAN)
3 Agustin Gil (ARG)
5 Daniele Accoglo (ITA)
5 Mamikon Avetisyan (ARM)
7 Ivan Boros (HON)
7 Ivan Copic (CRO)


Good day for Canadians in France

Canadian judokas in France

At the Bresse Open, in Saint-Denis-lès-Bourg, France, Canadian athletes won a total of 8 medals.

Julien Frascadore (-66 kg), Shianne Gronen (-70 kg), Gabriel Juteau (-73 kg) and Mohab ElNahas (-90 kg) each dominated their categories and all won a gold medals.

In the -90 kg, Benjamin Kendrick lost the final bout and won the silver medal.

Virginia Nemeth (-48 kg), Bradley Langlois (-81 kg) and Alex Marineau (-90 kg) won bronze medals.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
Information: 514-990-0966 | 1-866-990-0966