ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (GNB) - Canada-New Brunswick athletes and artists were active on Wednesday at the VIIIth Jeux de la Francophonie, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Chris Robertson, of Moncton, finished the decathlon in track and field in 6th position with a total of 6,661points, after 10 events. He completed the 110 metre, discus, pole vault, javelin and the 1500 metre, Wednesday. Canada’s Taylor Stewart won gold with 7,852 points.

“I am very happy with my results, it is my second best,” said Robertson. “The other candidates were very talented and it was hot and humid. We were three from Canada and we did well. The spectators were incredible with their support and enthusiasm. It was exciting. My best event was the pole vault. The Jeux de la Francophonie are different, but it is interesting to be with athletes from around the world who communicate with one another.”

Gabriel Traversy, 19, of Oromocto, competing in judo in the under 81kg category, lost his two matches and was eliminated from further play.

“This was my first senior international competition and I am still a junior,” Traversy said. “My first match went well and I was able to throw him on the mat. I would have loved to do better in my second against the person from the Ivory Coast. My adversaries were much stronger. I wanted to win one or two matches. Their strength affected me, mentally. The spectators were supporting him and I was stressed. I have to better my physical strength. I have been competing in judo since my youth and I will continue.”

Raphaël Butler and his musicians, Jason Arsenault (drum and voice) and Mathieu Belliveau (base), performed a 15-minute show for jury members and the public. He sang three new songs, Reset, Dans mes bras (In my arms) and Sans rien devoir à personne (Nothing to owe). Unfortunately, they were not retained in the final five for the medals.

“We finished our show with our heads up and very satisfied with the spectators reaction,” said Butler. “The spectators had lots of energy and it was transferred to us on stage. We had an incredible feeling in front of a very responding public. We wanted to connect with our public and tell our story. The second song was emotional and I sang and played alone. Our third song was more rock with drum and base solos and me step-dancing. We wanted to have fun on stage and the public wanted more at the end. We were on a cloud.”

Today, Alex Colpitts (under 90 kg), Andrew Blaney (under 100 kg) and Andrew Vienneau (100 kg plus) will compete in judo events. It will also be the last day for athletics competitions as Barry Brit (5000 m), Naomie Maltais and Elizabeth MacDonald (hammer throw) will be at the track.