Cloverdale’s Lowan Le Bris keeps racking up medals.
This time around, he’s won both a gold and a bronze medal at judo nationals in Montreal.
The “Open National Championship” is Judo Canada’s premiere title event. Le Bris fought his way to a gold medal win in the tournament in the U16 age category and the under-60 kilogram weight class. He went 5-0 on his path to first place.
Le Bris also fought in an age group higher, capturing a bronze medal in the U18, under-60 kilogram weight class. Le Bris went 6-1 on his way to earning bronze in the U18 competition.
Le Bris said it felt great to win the gold medal, solidifying his status as the best in Canada at his age level and weight class.
“I was proud to get gold on this day,” Le Bris recalled. “It was good to learn from my loss (in the U18 competition) and bump back up to the medal. It was a good experience and now I know I have to be prepared for every single tournament.”
Going in, he was the favourite for the U16 age group. And during the year, he had the best results of any U16 fighter nationwide.
The U16 tournament was the day after the U18 tournament and Le Bris said he made sure he was fully prepared for his matches.
“I had a total of 5 fights and won all of them,” recalled Le Bris, of his run at U16 gold. “During the day, I had three golden score fights, which is when the time runs out and any score counts as a win.”
Le Bris ended up defeating Quebec’s Edouard Chasse in the final to win gold. The win offered some special redemption for Le Bris after he lost to Chasse the day before in his second fight in the U18 competition, sending Le Bris to the bronze side of the bracket.
“(He) beat me in my second round in U18,” explained Le Bris. “I was happy to end the tournament with a win.”
In the U18 competition, Le Bris said he had hoped to reach the finals, but realizes now that he didn’t prepare well enough before his matches.
“I ended up losing (to Chasse) whom I knew I had the ability to defeat.”
Le Bris also said he didn’t let the loss affect him in any way and he used the defeat as motivation.
“Instead, I had to go through the repechage rounds, where I needed to win all subsequent matches in order to secure a bronze medal.”
Le Bris said he fought hard throughout the U18 competition.
“Despite the initial loss, I managed to bounce back and won six consecutive fights in the repechage rounds,” Le Bris said. “Each match posed its own unique challenges, but I persevered and gave my all.”
He said one fight that really tested him was a U18 match against a fighter named Aden Kim.
“It lasted a grueling 10 minutes, pushing me to my limits both mentally and physically,” said Le Bris.
It’s been a big year for Le Bris. After medalling earlier this year at the Canada Winter Games, he recently received an award from Judo Canada naming him the most outstanding U16 judo athlete in the country.
Next up for Le Bris will be the US Open Judo Championships in July in Ft. Lauderdale. He said after that, he’ll attempt to qualify for the junior world championships.
“The next season will be pretty heavy in terms of competitions and training camps in and outside of Canada,” explained Le Bris. “I will need to start travelling with the national team and it will cost money.”
As such Le Bris is now looking for sponsors to help fund the costs of getting to his competitions so he can fulfill his dream of becoming “the best in my sport” and competing in the Olympics one day.
If anyone is interested in sponsoring Le Bris, he can be contacted through Burnaby’s Peak Judo Club, peakjudo.ca.