Antoine celebrates

Judo qualification for Rio 2016 underway

Rio 2016 is still two years away but judo qualification for the Games in Brazil is underway with Canadians seeing the podium over the weekend in Cuba.

London 2012 bronze medallist Antoine Valois-Fortier (photo above) won bronze in the 81kg weight class at the first International Judo Federation event inside the Olympic qualification window.

Patrick Gagne won the second bronze for Canadian men in the 66kg weight class. A third bronze medal came from the women’s field of competitors via Olympian Kelita Zupancic in the 70kg weight class at the inaugural Grand Prix in Havana.

RELATED: The rise of Kelita Zupancic

Olympic qualification is based on the IJF World Ranking List, with the top 22 men and the top 14 women in each weight class (maximum one athlete per NOC per event) on May 30, 2016 earning berths for Rio. Finishing third at a Grand Prix nets each of the Canadian competitors 120 points toward rankings in each weight class.

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