Judo Canada – Start Again with a Clean Slate

‘Start again with a clean slate’ is surely a refrain this weekend for Canadian judokas at the Baku Judo Grand Slam in Azerbaijan; only one Canadian was able to win a single bout on the tatami.

After Ecaterina Guica and Patrick Gagné were halted in their first matches on Friday, Monika Burgess was the only Canadian to see a victory this Saturday; Alix Renaud-Roy, Stéfanie Tremblay, Arthur Margelidon, and Alexis Morin-Martel all were defeated in their first rounds.

Tough Day in Baku for Canadians Guica, Gagné

Some days are best left forgotten, and today, Friday, has been one of them for Quebec judokas Ecaterina Guica and Patrick Gagné, who both were defeated in their first matches at the Baku Judo Grand Slam in Azerbaijan.

Guica – world-ranked 32nd in the Under 52kg class – saw her day on the tatami end courtesy American Angelica Delgado, ranked 21st internationally. The Montreal native received two penalties, versus her adversary’s single penalty.

IJF Judo Grand Slam Baku 2015 Day 1 Recap & Photos

The first IJF Grand Slam of the season produced a pulsating day of judo on Friday as the home fans were in full voice at the Baku Grand Slam 2015 to rally their home team and welcome the world’s leading nations at the atmospheric Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre.

The three-day event has attracted 356 judoka from 48 nations with the European portion all intent on returning in June for the inaugural European Games.

IJF Judo Grand Slam Azerbaijan 2015 Full Preview

The first Grand Slam of the IJF World Judo Tour 2015 is all set as Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku hosts one of Olympic sport’s flagship events at the Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre from Friday 8 – Sunday 10 May.

The ever-changing city is set to stage the first European Games in June with over 6,000 athletes arriving to compete in 20 sports including judo which will no doubt be one of the leading attractions.

Isasi Just Shy of Podium at Judo Grand Prix in Zagreb

The only Canadian in action on the tatami Sunday, the last day of the Zagreb Judo Grand Prix in Croatia, Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi finished just shy of the podium in fifth place in the Under 78kg class.

In the final for two bronze medals up for grabs, the judoka from La Prairie (Quebc) was defeated by seventh world-ranked athlete, Hungary’s Abigel Joo, who scored an ippon in the first minute of the bout.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Zagreb 2015 Day 3 Recap & Photos

The Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 came to a riveting conclusion as the heavyweights fought for IJF silverware at the Dom Sportova Arena on Sunday.

Croatian fans saw the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories compete for the remaining five gold medals.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Zagreb 2015 Day 2 Recap & Photos

The Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 was the talk of Croatia on Saturday as Olympic and world champions took to the tatami and the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mrs. Kolinda GRABAR-KITAROVIC, officially opened the Grand Prix at the Dom Sportova Arena.

On day two gold medallists were crowned in the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and in the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories. World champion Clarisse AGBEBGNENOU (FRA) and Olympic bronze medallist VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) were on -63kg and -81kg duty respectively while Olympic champion Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) was anxious to boost his chances of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympics to defend his title.

Kelita Zupancic Earns Judo Bronze in Zagreb

Kelita Zupancic stepped onto the third step of the podium in the Under 70kg class, Saturday, at the Zagreb Grand Prix in Croatia. In her battle for the bronze, the Ontario native defeated Poland’s Katarzyna Klys (world-ranked 11th) with a waza-ari.

“She controlled the whole match, and never allowed herself to be in any danger. The Polish girl couldn’t find a way to answer Kelita,” noted Team Canada Coach Sasha Mehmedovic.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Zagreb 2015 Day 1 Recap & Photos

The Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 crowned five gold medallists on an eventful opening day in the Croatian capital as two of the top seeds suffered early exits while rising stars emerged at the Dom Sportova Arena.

The fourth IJF Grand Prix of the season opened with action in the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and men’s -60kg and -66kg categories.

Ecaterina Guica: “I Just Ran Out of Energy”

Day One of the Croatian Grand Prix in Zagreb, finished earlier than expected for Canadian judokas. Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard, Antoine Bouchard and Ecaterina Guica were all eliminated in their first bouts, today, Friday.

In the Under 52kg class, Guica – world ranked 32nd – was defeated by Spain’s Laura Gomez (15th in the world).

IJF Judo Grand Prix Zagreb, Croatia 2015 Full Preview

The IJF World Judo Tour has arrived in Croatia for the country’s third and most anticipated Grand Prix with a record-breaking entry and an enthused public set to illuminate Zagreb.

The Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 will capture the imagination of the public at the Dom Sportova Arena from Friday 1 – Sunday 3 May. This year a record-breaking 439 judoka from 55 nations will compete over the next three days as the entry level has increased in volume and quality year-on-year since Rijeka in 2013 and the last visit to Zagreb a year ago.

Canada’s Women Golden at Judo Pan Am Championships

Canada’s Women’s Team were crowned Pan American Champions, while the Men’s Team earned the bronze, Sunday evening in team competitions at the Pan American Judo Championships in Edmonton.

“The women’s performance was exceptional, fantastic,” enthused National Team Coach and High Performance Director Nicolas Gill.

Antoine Bouchard Wins Judo Pan American Championship

Antoine Bouchard had a perfect path that lead straight to the top of the podium Saturday at the Pan American Judo Championship in Edmonton, Alberta. On the second day of competitions, Canadian athletes also won an additional three medals, thanks to stellar performances by Arthur Margelidon, Ecaterina Guica, and Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard – all three of whom will take home bronze medals.

Competing in the Under 66kg category, Antoine Bouchard was able to make good use of a pass beyond the opening round before facing and beating Aruba’s Jaymes Mata and Mexico’s Angel Hernandez.

A Gold Medal Memory for Canada’s Kelita Zupancic in Edmonton

Kelita Zupancic enabled Team Canada to start the Pan American Judo Championships on the right foot Friday, with her gold medal win in Edmonton, Alberta, while teammates Antoine Valois-Fortier and Kyle Reyes both earned bronze medals.

Judo Canada Counts on Experienced Coaches Towards Rio

Less than 18 months before the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Judo Canada announces the coaches who will be following the Canadian judokas in their quest towards excellence.

Nicolas Gill, national head coach and High Performance director, will be accompanied by 3 other coaches. Michel Almeida will be the assistant for the men’s team while Sasha Mehmedovic will be taking the same role with the women. The team will be completed with Janusz Pawlowski, who is also the assistant coach for the national team since the beginning of this year.

Video – SportAccord President M. Vizer Speaks to Euronews

With just under a month to go for the SportAccord Convention World Sport and Business Summit in Sochi, Russia, SportAccord President, Marius L. Vizer spoke with Euronews about his tenure in office ahead of the presidential elections during the annual meeting of the sports industry.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Samsun 2015 Day 3 Recap & Photos

The Samsun Grand Prix 2015 came to a riveting finale as the heavyweights went toe-to-toe on the third day at the Yasar Dogu Sports Arena on Sunday. The remaining 156 athletes competed for the title of Grand Prix winner. This Grand Prix concluded the first part of the year as the next IJF World Judo Tour event will take place in Croatia with the Zagreb Grand Prix 2015, from May 1 to 3, with April being traditionally dedicated to the continental championships.

Mr. Vladimi Barta said: “Today was the last day of competition in Samsun. The event is a great success. We had really good judo over the weekend. We can particularly underline that today we had many fighters in the havy weight categories and that the level was really good. I was impressed by the French Malonga, in -78kg, who demonstrated all her tallent today and who is very promissing for the future.“

IJF Judo Grand Prix Samsun 2015 Day 2 Recap & Photos

The Samsun Grand Prix 2015 produced a brilliant second day of competition as four categories (men’s -73kg and -81kg and women’s -63kg and -70kg) were in action at the Yasar Dogu Sports Arena. 169 athletes competed in front of an enthusiastic all-red-dressed public, who came to support their home favourites and to cheer for the beautiful judo that has been delivered by the competitors for the last two days.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Samsun 2015 Day 1 Recap & Photos

184 athletes competed on the tatami at the ‘Yasar Dogu Sports Arena’ in Samsun, Turkey on the occasion of the opening day of the Samsun Grand Prix 2015. After three fantastic days of judo in Tbilisi last weekend, all judoka came to Turkey to win some more important points for the Olympic qualification. Thus, on day one the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and men’s -60kg and -66kg categories kicked off the action.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Samsun, Turkey 2015 Full Preview

499 athletes (311 men and 188 women) from 68 countries will gather together during the next three days on the tatami of the ‘Yasar Dogu Sports Arena’ in Samsun, Turkey. With a seating capacity of 7,500 spectators, the venue was officially opened in 2013, when the first Turkish Grand Prix was organized in the capital city of the Samsun Province, one of the major black sea ports.

The official draw of the competition took place today at the Serra Hotel in front of a large audience of heads of delegations, who were keen to find out what would be the chances of their athletes to collect some precious points for the Olympic qualification. Exactly one week after the Tbilisi Grand Prix 2015 in Georgia, the IJF is now stopping in Turkey and is attracting the best judoka in the world for this third IJF competition of the 2015 World Judo Tour.

Budapest Will Host 2017 Judo World Championships

Today, the signature of the contract for the Judo World Championships Individual and Teams and the IJF Congress in 2017 took place in Budapest at the Ministry of Sport.

Mr. Marius Vizer, the IJF President, signed the contract with Mr. Laszlo Toth, the Hungarian Judo Federation President. Mr. Vizer also signed a protocol agreement with Mr. Laszlo Simicsko, Secretary of State for Sports in the Hungarian Government.

This protocol stipulates that the Hungarian Government will support and approve the organization of the 2017 Judo World Championships to be held in Budapest.

Portuondo Isasi Stays Hot at Pan Am Open in Argentina

It’s safe to say that 2015 has been Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi’s year. The Quebecer claimed another podium finish on Sunday, winning gold in the under 78 kg class at the Judo Pan American Open presented in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Montrealer has reached the podium in all seven tournaments she has competed in since January.

After benefitting from a bye in the first round, Portuondo Isasi claimed victories by ippon over the Argentinian Lidia Arias and the Ecuadorian Diana Chala. In the finale, she took on her old teammate, Sarah Myriam Mazouz, who now competes for Gabon. She completed her perfect day with an exclamation point, once again winning by ippon.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Tbilisi 2015 Day 3 Recap & Photos

The Tbilisi Grand Prix 2015 came to a riveting finale as the heavyweights went toe-to-toe on the third day at the Sports Palace on Sunday.

The judo-loving Georgian fans saw the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories compete for the remaining five gold medals.

Antoine Bouchard Wins Gold at Judo Pan-Am Open in Argentina

The Canadian contingent got off to a great start this weekend in Argentina, coming away with four medals, Saturday, at the Pan-American Open presented in Buenos Aires. Antoine Bouchard won a gold medal in convincing fashion while Arthur Margelidon was also impressive in his silver medal performance. Stéfanie Tremblay and Ecaterina Guica also claimed medals, both winning a bronze in their respective weight classes.

In the under 66 kg class, Bouchard, hailing from the Saguenay region, took charge of the gold medal finale against the Brit Nathon Burns. He began his day with two wins in the preliminary round before taking down the Spaniard Gar Uriarte by an ippon in the semifinals.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Tbilisi 2015 Day 2 Recap & Photos

The Tbilisi Grand Prix 2015 produced a blistering second day in front of an expectant and teeming crowd at the Sports Palace on Saturday.

On day two gold medallists were crowned in the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and men’s -73kg and -81kg categories as home hopes were focused on the fortunes of world champion Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI (GEO) and Olympic champion Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO).

IJF Judo Grand Prix Tbilisi 2015 Day 1 Recap & Photos

The second IJF Grand Prix of the season burst into life on Friday as fans were enthralled by opening day of the Tbilisi Grand Prix 2015 – Georgia, at the atmospheric Tbilisi Sports Palace.

The second edition of the three-day event, which will be promptly followed next week by Turkey’s Samsun Grand Prix, has attracted 345 judoka from 42 nations as the city’s reputation for hosting a top-class event is now established in the thriving Olympic sport.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Tbilisi 2015 Full Preview

The IJF World Judo Tour has arrived in Georgia for the second IJF competition of the year as the capital city hosts the Judo Grand Prix, Tbilisi 2015, at the Sports Palace from Friday 20 – Sunday 22 March.

The 2015 season was launched in Germany last month as over 500 judoka took to the tatami at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix. Tbilisi’s second edition of this event will be followed by the Samsun Grand Prix next week as the tour builds momentum and judoka edge ever closer to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Perfect Score for Portuondo Isasi at Judo Pan Am Open

Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi was Canada’s best judoka on Sunday at the Pan American Open in Montevido, Uruguay, during which she won the bronze medal in the under 78 kg category.

The 19-year-old athlete stepped on the podium during each of her six competitions in 2015. She had also won a silver medal last week during the Pan American Open in Santiago, Chile, and a bronze medal during the African Open in Tunis, Tunisia, in January.

Étienne Briand Wins Bronze at Judo Pan American Open

Étienne Briand won the bronze medal in the under 73 kg category on Saturday during the judo Pan American Open in Montevideo, Uruguay. During his last bout, the athlete from Sept-Îles won by ippon against the Finn Eetu Laamanen.

On his way to the podium, Briand has defeated the American Alexander Turner and his Canadian teammate David Ancor before losing against the Brazilian Eduardo Barbosa, who ended up winning the gold medal.

Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi Finishes 2nd at Judo Pan Am Open

Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi won the silver medal on Sunday in the under 78 kg category during the Judo Pan American Open in Santiago, Chile.

Her medal adds to the ones won by Stéphanie Tremblay and Ecaterina Guica on Saturday. Tremblay won silver in the under 63 kg category, while Guica won bronze with the under 52 kg.

Chile’s Capital is Good for Tremblay, Guica

Quebecker judoka Stéphanie Tremblay won the silver medal during the Pan American Open in Santiago on Saturday. Chile was also good to Ecaterina Guica, who won one of the two bronze medals in the under 52 kg category.

Tremblay lost the finale in the under 63 kg category against the Mexican Andrea Gutierrez. “I had a good fight during the finale bout against the Mexican. 8 seconds before the end, there were no points on the score board and I wanted to put some pressure because I thought she deserved a penalty for the last sequence. By putting more pressure, I stepped too close and she attacked. The yuko given by the judges when there was 0 second left was pretty questionable” said Tremblay.