Algeria and Tunisia shine at African Open in Tunis
Canada's Coralie Godbout will no doubt fondly remember her trip to the African Open in Tunis, where she triumphed in the under-78 kg weight category on Sunday, the final day of the event. Her brilliant performance proved she is on the right track for the next stage of her international career. Two preliminary round wins by ippon over Ange Ciella Niragira of Burundi and Louiza Ichallal of Algeria propelled Godbout into the big final, where she faced off against local judoka Arij Akkab.
The 22-year-old Canadian, who was determined to end the day of top of the podium, wasted no time in showcasing her talents. She ensured she had full control of her grip before pulling Akkab to the ground, where she transitioned to a hold that completely immobilised her opponent.
Godbout held Akkab down for a full 20 seconds, at which point she was declared the winner by ippon. She ended the day with the gold medal around her neck.
“I used all my strength to maintain my hold! From the start, my plan was to get her onto the ground. I wanted to take advantage of the fact that it’s one of my strengths and seems to be one of her weak spots. It went well, and I’m proud of my performance,” said Godbout, moments after descending from the podium.
Today’s medal brings the Canadian judoka’s Senior Open Continental total to seven, including three gold. The achievement reflects her high expectations and demonstrates that the changes she made to her training and preparation regimens over the past year are paying off.
“Before, I put a lot of pressure on myself to accumulate points for the international rankings. Now, I just focus on one fight at a time. I’m proud of the work I did this week. I stayed focused on my goal, and I stuck to my game plan,” she explained.
Godbout now hopes to build upon her latest victory, and she will have the chance to do so next weekend in Algiers, where she will compete in another African Open.
“The competition will be pretty similar, but I won’t take anything for granted. Even if I fight opponents that I beat this weekend, I can’t take things lightly, because each bout is different, regardless of what may have happened in the past,” she concluded.
In a weekend filled with judo action, the finals of the African Open Judo in Tunis delivered three gold medals for Algeria.
Algeria showcased their athletic prowess by clinching 3 gold medals in the competition. Their athletes demonstrated exceptional skill and determination, making their country proud on the international stage. Host Tunisia emerged as a strong contender, securing 3 gold medals in the competition followed by the American athletes who delivered a stellar performance, clinching 2 gold medals in Tunis.
In the U48 kg category, Oumaima Bedioui of Tunisia clinched gold, while Ka Lee Wong of Hong Kong settled for silver. Chaima Sidaoui of Tunisia, another judoka of just 19, claimed gold in the U57 kg category and Sarra Mzougui of Tunisia secured gold in the O78kg category for the second time in a row, with Dutch Carmen Dijkstra in the final.
30 year old experienced Faiza Aissahine of Algeria emerged victorious in the U52 kg category, securing the gold medal. Chaimae Eddinari of Morocco took silver despite her loss.
Yana Makretskaya of AIN won the gold medal in the U63 kg category, while Dounia Slimani of Italy took silver. Ons Romdhani of Tunisia and Carolina Delgado Frances of Cape Verde secured the bronze medals.
Melissa Myers of the USA emerged victorious in the U70 kg category, with Soufia Belattar of Morocco earning silver. The bronze medals went to Maram Jmour of Tunisia and Ugne Pileckaite of Lithuania.
In the U60 kg final, Daniyar Yessengulov of Kazakhstan secured gold, with Christopher Velazco of the USA claiming silver. Nurmukhamet Botabay of Kazakhstan emerged victorious in the U66 kg final, with Konrad Shoka of AIN taking silver. The U73 kg final saw Ethan Nairne of Great Britain clinching gold, while Ruslan Halavachou (AIN) settled for silver. Nairne follows up Jack Yonezuka woh won last year.
American judoka Dominic Rodriguez claimed gold in the U81 kg final beging the youngest winner of the weekend aged 19, defeating Ahmed Rebahi of Algeria. Dutchman Axel Heeren emerged victorious in the U90 kg final continuing his form of his bronze medal at the Belgian Open.
Redha Lamri of Algeria secured gold in the U100 kg final. Heavyweight Mohamed El Mehdi Lili won his final against Yahor Kukharenka (AIN) and prolonged last year's title. Despite competing without a national team, Individual Neutral Athletes put up a remarkable performance, clinching one gold medal in the competition.