Canadian Olympic bronze medalist Antoine Valois-Fortier of Quebec City, Quebec has won the bronze medal at the 2019 World Judo Championships in Tokyo. While competing in the men’s 81 kilogram weight class on Wednesday, Valois-Fortier won his third career medal at the World Judo Championships.
Valois-Fortier finished in second place in Pool A. He beat Asa Weithers of Barbados, Ivaylo Ivanov of Bulgaria, Tomas Morales of Argentina and Nacif Elias of Lebanon before losing to Saeid Mollaei in his final Pool A match.
Due to the fact Valois-Fortier did not win Pool A, he was sent to the repechage. There he beat Domnic Ressel of Germany and Mohamed Abdelaal of Egypt to win the bronze medal. Sagi Muki of Israel won the gold medal, Matthias Casse of Belgium won the silver medal and Luka Maisuradze of Georgia won the other bronze medal.
Valois-Fortier previously won the silver medal at the 2014 World Judo Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia and a bronze medal at the 2015 World Judo Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan. With the bronze medal in Tokyo, Valois-Fortier becomes only the second Canadian judokan ever to win three medals in the history of the World Judo Championships. The first was Canadian Olympic silver medalist Nicolas Gill of Montreal, Quebec, who won medals in 1993, 1995 and 1999.
This was also only the second time ever that Canada won two medals in judo at a single World Championship. Christa Deguchi of Lethbridge, Alberta won the gold medal in the women’s 57 kilogram division on Tuesday. The only other time that Canada won two medals at a single World Judo Championship was 1981 when Phil Takahashi of Toronto, Ontario won the bronze medal in the men’s 60 kilogram division and Kevin Doherty of Toronto, Ontario won the bronze medal in the men’s 78 kilogram division. The 1981 World Judo Championships took place in Maastricht, Netherlands.
Valois-Fortier won his bronze medal in the men’s 81 kilogram division at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Gill won the bronze medal in men’s judo in the men’s 86 kilogram division at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and a silver medal in the men’s 100 kilograms at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. The world championship medal for Valois-Fortier in Tokyo will give him an extra boost of confidence with the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo just a year away.