Jacob Valois wins gold at the 2018 Asian Judo Open

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Jacob Valois of Boucherville, Quebec won the gold medal in the men’s 66 kilogram division at the 2018 Asian Judo Open from Hong Kong on Saturday. Valois was one of three Canadians to land on the podium. Hakim Chala of Montreal, Quebec won the bronze medal in the men’s 60 kilogram division on Saturday and Francois Gauthier-Drapeau of Montreal, Quebec won the bronze medal in the men’s 81 kilogram division on Sunday.

In the men’s 66 kilogram division, Valois went through the tournament undefeated. He beat Sheng-Ting Huang of Chinese Taipei and Nathan Katz of Australia in Pool C, Patryk Wawrzyczek of Poland in the semifinals and then Jaegwang Han of South Korea in the gold medal match. Han would settle for silver, while Chao Wang of China and Tumurkhuleg Davaadorj of Mongolia each won bronze.

In the men’s 60 kilogram division, Chala beat Syahrul Ramadhani of Indonesia and Yuk Ting Lee of Hong Kong in Pool C action before losing to Joshua Katz of Australia. Chala then beat Bryan Jolly of Australia and Soukphaxay Sithisane of Laos in the Repechage to win bronze. Yung Wei Yang of Chinese Taipei won gold and Katz won silver. Vijay Kumar Yadav of India won the other bronze.

In the men’s 81 kilogram division, Gauthier-Drapeau beat Vlad Visan of Romania before losing to Ryuto Hombu of Japan in Pool C action. He then beat Christopher George Gerard of Indonesia and Zhiyuan Zhang of China in the Repechage to win bronze. Gwanghui Lee of South Korea won gold, Hombu won silver and Eoin Coughlan of Australia won the other bronze. The medals for Valois, Chala and Gauthier-Drapeau will give them confidence as they prepare for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

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