Monday, July 25, 2011


When I got home I took about 7days off from judo to spend some time with my family, start work again and just relax a bit before I started my prep for the world championships. It was nice to have a change of pace for the time that i took off. This year has been crazy for travelling and just having some quality time with my family was great.

This week we are going down to Boston for a US-Canada training camp in preparation for the world championships being held in Paris, France at the end of Aug. The camp should be pretty good.

I will get back to everyone with details on how training is going when I get there.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Last trip on the pan am tour...

Well I know it’s a little late but here is what happened in Venezuela.

Coming in to this world cup I was feeling great! I had just taken a bronze medal at the US World cup and a 5th place finish at the Super world cup in Rio. In the first round I fought a guy from Brazil who I had never seen before, which is rare for me because normally at this level I have pretty much seen everyone that I normally face. Having said that I went into the fight being very cautious. Normally any Brazilian judo player that Brazil actually sends onto the world cup circuit are pretty good, so I just wanted to be careful not to get caught.
During the fight I ended up taking him down to the ground and submitting him with a triangle lock. This win put me into the 3rd round because I had a bye in my first round. In the 3rd round I was up against the Bosnian player who I had beat the weekend before in Miami. This time however the fight did not go as planned. During the fight I was controlling all of the gripping exchanges and was actually up by a yuko(quarter point) until he surprised me with an attack and scored a match ending ippon(full point). After the match was ok I was extremely pissed off at myself, because normally I don’t make mistakes like that, and again this weekend because I was left with only a chance for bronze.

Coming back to win the bronze meant I had to win 2 more matches and in both matches I faced the number 2 and number 1 seeded Americans who are both ranked top 22 in the world. First up was the number 2 American, Michael Eldred. Having fought so many times in our careers we pretty much knew what the other player was going to do, so it became a chess match of who was going to make the first mistake and who was going to be the aggressor. At this level it really comes down to the smallest of things sometimes, anyone can win at this level so it extremely important that you stay aggressive during the entire 5min of a fight.
After the first 5min of regulation time the match was tied so we went in to sudden death over time. During overtime I was able to score a full point (ippon) with a hip throw, putting me into the bronze medal match against the number 1 American player. Nick Delpopolo(who actually beat me at the world championships in 2010 – knocked me out of contention for a medal) – In this fight it was a similar match to the previous one because we have fought each other for so long, we have even trained together so when it came down to it, the match was going to be decided by who was the more aggressive fighter. During the fight the USA player was given two penalties giving me the bronze medal and my 12th career world cup medal (2nd overall behind Nicolas Gill for men’s total in judo Canada history)

Overall I was happy with the result but it was bitter sweet due to the fact that I had not been able to take the gold medal home. NO worries I still had one more world cup to fight before the world championships – or so I thought !!!!

On Wednesday before the next world cup we took a flight from Venezuela to El Salavor (where the next world cup was being held) but things did not turn out as planned. After being delayed on our first flight (which was a 45min flight) by over 2hrs, we ended up missing our connecting flight in Caracas. After some delay there and trying to rebook our ticket with the airport staff we also found out that no one on the team would be able to leave the country and fly to El Salvador without there immunization forms and documents that showed we had our yellow fever shots. Not good news seeing how no one on the team had those documents with them. I guess this is a new rule that they have decided to enforce, but just not tell any travellers until they get to the airport.
So now team Canada was stuck at the airport with no idea of how or when we would be able to get to El Salvador.

After finding out what exactly we needed, everyone called home and got the documents scanned and emailed back to us, while the coach tried to buy new tickets for everyone. This put us over a day behind schedule, and also very close to the start of the tournament. Not good news.
The other thing that sucked was that there were not enough tickets for everyone to fly to El Salvador the next day, and the ticket that the team ended up getting was leaving at 6:30pm Friday and landing at 11pm – so that meant the team after travelling for more the 45hrs would only get into the hotel about 8hrs before they had to weigh in. They would actually be dead tired from 45hrs of travelling, hungry and just not in the mood to fight.

So after talking with my coach I decided that it was best for me not to head to El Salvador anymore because we did not think that it was worth the hassle and money to get there so late before an event. I changed my ticket from Venezuela to come home.

A short 40hrs later I finally touched down in Montreal – couldn’t be happier.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Welcome to Miami

So Miami World Cup is one of the world cups I was looking forward to competing at this year, not because it was in Miami, although that is an added bonus - but because its somewhat close to home and that means the rest of the world has to travel to get there - not only us. A lot of the europeans are not used to travelling long distances for world cup events and are not used to getting used to the time change - like we always have to do when we go to europe.

This year we had to fly straight from Brazil to Miami for this world cup but it was only a 1hr time change which didnt really effect me at all. Last year at this event I took Gold and was hoping to do the same but I made a little mistake in the quarter final which changed the plans of owning the podium to hopefully getting on the podium.

The day started off normal - I woke up at 6am for unofficial weigh in, which is basically just to make sure that your on weight and that you dont have to go for a run or anything to lose .1kg or something. My weight has been great as of late so I actually weighed in like 1kg under 73kg which is fine, it just meant that I could eat more leading up to the event. In the first round I had a bye because the guy I was suppose to fight from Chile did not make weight, so it gave me a little more rest and time to warm up before my day started - now I just had to wait and see who I would fight in the 2nd round, which ended up being Bosnia. Normally Bosnia does not have so many good fighters but in the case of the 73kg player it is actually quite the opposite - I think he is probably one of strongest physically in the world for 73kg.

During the fight I received two shidos and that meant I was down by a yuko score with 2min30sec remaining in the match. In my head my game plan was not working so I decided that I had to just kept coming forward until he was unable to keep the pace that I had set - finally with only 10sec left in the fight he was too exhausted to stop my attack and I threw him for ippon. It is not normally the way you want to win but it sure does feel good when you come from behind to win a match with no time left on the clock. With that win I was now into the quarter final where I was matched up against the Slovenian player who used to be one of the best in the world but has just recently started to come back onto the scene to qualify for 2012 - in my 2nd match everything was going fine until I made a very costly mistake and got caught on the ground. I only managed to get out after 22sec which meant he had a very strong lead and I was unable to come back from that to win the match. After loosing that match I was going to be only able to take a bronze medal home at best.

In my 4th match of the day (semi final to bronze) I had the romanian player who had just taken 3rd at the grand slam RIO, he is a very good player and a very tough match up for anyone. The match started off slow for me and I found myself down again by 2 shidos but as I did in my 2nd match I kept coming forward and with about 2min left I could tell he was starting to get tired and I knew it was just a matter of time before he made a mistake that I could capitalize on. Shortly after that(just as I was hoping) the romanian made a mistake and I counted his attack for a wazari score and took the lead. From that point on it was just a matter of playing it smart. I could not take another penalty or else the match would be tied so I continued to look busy and I actually finished the match by throwing him with about 15sec left on the clock. With the way judo has been changing over the last couple of years - cardio is becoming more and more crucial to win events and today it was no different, I kept to my game plan, pushed the pace and eventually the people who I was fighting either made a mistake because they were too tired or just gave up because they could not keep the pace I set.

My 5th match of the day was the bronze medal final. For my Bronze final it did not get any easier, I was matched up against the former world bronze medalist and european medalist from Spain who in my opinion is one of the toughest 73kg players. With 73kg for this world cup being stacked I was expecting a tough draw anyway I looked at it, so it was no surprise when I saw that he had won his way back to the bronze final as well.

So for my bronze medal match I ended up winning by 3shidos, the match was not overly exciting, it was mostly a gripping match that went back an forth, but that was my game plan going in so it was a great win and another world cup medal. During the fight I knew that if I stayed aggressive I could win the fight. The spanish guys style is very upright and more japanese style, so if I relaxed too much it would give him to many chances to score. Overall the tournament was a success - I ended up on the podium and it was my first world cup medal of the year!

Next week we are heading over to Venezuela for the world cup there so I will keep you updated. As for my personal life - well I dont have one haha. No no things back home are going great, Emma(my daughter) is doing good - growing up fast, missing her and my family a lot! Well thanks for reading - leave some comments if you want!