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NIcolas Messner – IJF
IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation
The final of the Grand Prix in Montreal opposed top seed Ramadan Darwish (EGY) and Shady EL Nahas (CAN), who produced an incredible performance in the semi-final when he threw with a massive o-goshi, world bronze medallist Karl-Richard Frey (GER) for ippon.
The host country was hoping that its eighth medal would be gold but after a bit more than thirty seconds, Elnahas launched a first attack that was definitely not strong enough to bother Ramadan Darwish, who calmly but surely counterattacked for a clear ippon.
The first bronze medal contest opposed 2018 Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist, Kyle Reyes (CAN) and Karl-Richard Frey (GER), who finished third on the occasion of the last Hohhot Grand Prix. Half way to the end, Frey was penalized a first time, for a forbidden grip and then a second time for blocking his opponent. Despite those penalties, the rhythm of the match was impressive and there was a feeling that any attack could decide who the winner would be. It is with a ko-soto-gake that eventually Kyle Reyes scored a waza-ari that needed the video to be confirmed, to win a eighth medal for the host country.
The second bronze medal contest opposed Zlatko Kumric (CRO), who finished at the bottom of the podium on the occasion of the last European Games and Leonardo Goncalves (BRA), Junior World Championships silver medallist in 2015. In less than ten seconds, Goncalves surprised his opponent with a left handed ko-uchi-gari for a first waza-ari. The sasae-tsurikomi-ashi executed by Kumric gave him also a waza-ari. With 19 seconds left Goncalves counterattacked one last attack of Kumric to score the second wazea-ari and win his first medal in a Grand Prix.
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