Canada’s Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard earns world judo silver

Canada’s Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard earned a silver medal in the world judo championship Sunday.

The 28-year-old from Montreal, who was a bronze medallist in last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, lost to Japan’s Megumi Horikawa in the women’s 63-kilogram final in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The result had Beauchemin-Pinard contemplating the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

“When I won my bronze medal at the Olympics, I knew I wanted to keep competing for at least another year so that I could win the one medal I didn’t have, a world championships medal,” Beauchemin-Pinard said.

“I’m happy to say that I did it, I achieved my goal. It definitely makes me feel like trying for the gold medal, but I’m going to take it one step at a time.”

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Beauchemin-Pinard won her first three bouts quickly Sunday in under 70 seconds in each with victories over Audrey Jeanette Etoua Biock of Cameroon, Iva Oberan of Croatia and Renata Zachova of the Czech Republic.

The Canadian, ranked third in the world by the International Judo Federation, needed just over two minutes to beat Manon Deketer of France in the semifinal before facing Horikawa.

Beauchemin-Pinard started the final aggressively with a series of attacks repelled by her opponent.

The Canadian maintained pressure through the match, but Horikawa prevailed in the final second of the four minutes of regulation time with an ippon, which is a decisive throw or hold similar to a knockout in boxing or pin in wrestling.

“Throughout the fight, I was able to block her, but her technique got the best of me at the very end, when I had gotten a bit tired,” Beauchemin-Pinard said.

“It was between two high-level competitors who were pushing themselves hard. At one point, on the ground, I came close to scoring, but wasn’t able to.

“I’m happy with my result, but right now, I’m mostly feeling the bitterness of defeat. A silver medal is always a bit hard to take, and it might take a few days before I feel good about it.”

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Francois Gauther-Drapeau of Alma, Que., lost to Tajikistan’s Somon Makhmadbekov in his opening bout of the 81-kg class Sunday.

Montreal’s Shady El Nahas and Toronto’s Kyle Reyes will compete Tuesday in the men’s 100-kg division.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2022.

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