MONTRÉAL — The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Judo Canada named the eight athletes nominated to represent Team Canada in judo at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games from August 5 to 21.
The seven athletes named to the team are Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-57kg), Antoine Bouchard (-60kg), Ecaterina Guica (-52kg), Sergio Pessoa Jr (-60kg), Kyle Reyes (-100kg), Antoine Valois-Fortier (-81kg) and Kelita Zupancic (-70kg). They will be led by national team head coach and two-time Olympic medallist Nicolas Gill, women’s assistant coach, Sasha Mehmedovic and men’s assistant coach, Michel Almeida.
These seven athletes qualified for Rio 2016 after two years of hard work that saw them travel the globe to compete in numerous events and accumulate world ranking points with their outstanding performances. The men all placed within the top-22 in their respective weight classes while the women were all in the top-14 or filled required continental representation.
The Olympic judo events will take place from August 6 to 12 at the Carioca Arena 2.
At Rio 2016, Canada expects to field a team of more than 314 athletes.
Judo Canada is the national governing body for the sport of judo in Canada. It has overall authority to provide leadership in promotion and development as well as govern all aspects of Judo in Canada and to select and prepare Canadian teams for international competition.
“I am happy and proud to once again represent the country at the Olympics. But pride aside, I am really going to Rio to perform. I am feeling a bit of pressure this time, but much of it comes from within. I have a great entourage and that is what gives me confidence going forward. I am in good shape and good health, which is the most important thing in my opinion.”
Antoine Valois-Fortier, London 2012 bronze medallist
“For me, going to the Olympics is the culmination of all the hard work done in training. The sacrifices, the sweat and the tough times are finally being rewarded! Now my focus is on maximizing my preparation so that I am primed and ready to go in time for Rio.”
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard, TORONTO 2015 silver medallist
“This judo squad is outstanding. They are all fierce competitors and are mentally tough – their competition better be ready. Congrats on being named to the Rio 2016 team, I know you will make our country proud.”
Curt Harnett, Rio 2016 Team Canada Chef de Mission
“After 24 months of selection tournaments that spanned the globe, Judo Canada is extremely pleased to have qualified eight athletes, including three who will be among the eight top seeds in their respective categories. The team will feature three athletes who will be competing at their second Olympic Games. Included in this group are three judokas who achieved top-eight finishes at the world championships and a former world junior champion. Needless to say, expectations are high!”
Nicolas Gill, National Head Coach and High Performance Director, Judo Canada
“I would like to congratulate the judo athletes named today to Team Canada for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. I know you will relish the experience of competing for your country at these Games. On behalf of all Canadians, I wish you well as you enter the final stages of your preparation.”
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
The judo team which will represent Canada at Rio 2016 includes:
|Ecaterina||Guica||La Prairie, QC||-52kg|
|Antoine||Valois-Fortier||Québec City, QC||-81kg|
|Assistant Coach, Men’s Team||Michel||Almeida||Montréal, QC|
|National Head Coach||Nicolas||Gill||Montréal, QC|
|Assistant Coach, Women’s Team||Sasha||Mehmedovic||Montréal, QC|
Prior to being named to the final Canadian Rio 2016 Team, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations.