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Four Canadians on the Grand Slam podium in Judo

Four Canadians on the Grand Slam podium in Judo

By Marie-Eve Leclerc

This past weekend, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard, Kyle Reyes, Kelita Zupancic and Antoine Valois-Fortier all had podium finishes in judo, earning Canada four medals at the Russian Grand Slam event.

The weekend began with a bang, as Quebecker Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard had another flawless run in winning the gold medal in the 57 kg weight class. The Canadian athlete defeated American Marti Malloy in the final, propelling her to the top of the podium just as she had done the previous weekend at the Ulan Bator Grand Prix.

catherinebeaucheminjudocanada1

Photo: Judo Canada

On Sunday, Canada added three more medals to its count. Ontario’s Kelita Zupancic captured the silver medal in the 70 kg weight class after squaring off in the finals against world favorite Kim Polling from the Netherlands.

Kyle Reyes, another Canadian to reach the finals, also earned silver after suffering defeat in the finals at the hands of Elmar Gasimov from Azerbaijan.

Winning the bronze medal in the U-81 kg weight class came at a price for Antoine Valois-Fortier. Medallist at the 2012 London Games, he suffered a head injury during his final bout against Russian Arsen Pshmakov, but managed to fight his way to victory.

“It was a great day for our athletes who scored some valuable points in the lead-up to the Olympic selections. It was also sweet revenge for the three medal winners of the day, who had finished just shy of the podium last weekend,” National Team coach Nicolas Gill said. (Sportcom)

These podium finishes bode very well for our Canadian athletes as they prepare for the World Championships scheduled for Brazil this upcoming August.

Cover Photo: International Judo Federation

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