Abby Lloyd won one and lost one at the Cadet World Judo Championship in Kiev, Ukraine, a performance that earned her a ninth place finish.
Abby, 14, took to the mats on Friday, August 12, in the under-48-kilogram division for women aged 17 and under. She beat her first opponent, Lebanon’s Zalfa Hassan, in just 18 seconds by throwing her to the ground and pinning her with a hold.
In her second match, versus Lithuania’s Viktorija Kozlova, Abby fought hard for two and a half minutes, throwing her opponent to the mats multiple times. In the end, Kozlova got Abby on her back and held her down for a full count to end the match. Abby said she wasn’t really content with her performance in the second fight and also felt the refereeing was “a little off,” but she accepted her defeat and learned a lot from the bout.
“Sometimes those calls go for you and sometimes they go against you,” said father Jeff Lloyd. “She’s disappointed in that fight but...it’s just been an incredible experience. The training that she’s received, she knows where she has to be, what she has to learn, she knows her strong points and her weak points.”
“She greatly impressed me by how serious she was in her preparation for the competition,” said coach Marie-Hélène Chisholm in a press release. “She got off to a wonderful start with her first fight. In the second match, she committed a few technical errors that can be chalked up to inexperience. Overall, I thought she showed some great things.”
Abby said that one of the most useful activities for her to do at a tournament, such as the one in Kiev, is to watch the other fights. Lloyd didn’t fight until the second day so she spent the first day watching fights, studying different styles of judo, gaining confidence picturing herself in the matches and thinking about what she would do.
“It was a really great experience,” said Abby. “It was a big first international tournament but I think it was really good for me to experience all of it, just to see international fighters and how they fight and how much different they are from Canada.”
Between fights the Canadian team did manage to take in some sightseeing and Abbysaid she enjoyed the architecture and just how different Kiev is from Canada. She said she is loving the opportunity to travel, is getting used to travelling without her parents and thinks that it’s important to go on these trips and develop bonds with her teammates and coaches.
Abby has been invited to Chile to compete in the Pan American Judo Championships but declined because it’s too soon after the worlds and because it may not be well attended. She is fighting in the BC championships in October and will be travelling to Germany for a world cup next March.