Canada’s Shady El Nahas fell just shy of a men’s 100-kilogram judo bronze medal, falling to Portugal’s Jorge Fonseca at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday in Japan.
The loss to Fonseca – the reigning 100 kg world champion from just a month ago – means the Toronto judoka ends his Olympic competition in fifth place.
“Heartbroken. Very, very disappointed. I thought I had it,” El Nahas said after the match.
“He was dead tired, and I’m fresh. Like, I’m not even breathing heavy right now. So it kind of hurts in the heart right now.”
The match went the distance with El Nahas managing to stop Fonseca from scoring any takedowns for much of the match.
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With 36 seconds remaining, Fonseca was able to get El Nahas on an O goshi – a large hip throw – for a waza-ari, or points awarded from a throw of an opponent with control and accuracy, to pick up the first score of the match.
Despite an increased sense of urgency, El Nahas ended up unable to get Fonseca to the mat despite a valiant effort.
“I believe I’m the best. I didn’t showcase that today,” El Nahas said. “I’ve fought him before, I’ve beat him twice before. I think the pressure just got to me. Yeah, I’m very disappointed in my performance in the final round.
“I’ll get over it. I’ll come back stronger than ever and that gold [medal] will be mine.”