Kelita Zupancic Crowned Judo Champion at Pan Am Games

For the first time since the beginning of the judo competitions at the Toronto Pan-American Games, the Canadian anthem could be heard during the podium ceremony on Monday night, at the Mississauga Sports Centre, and it was all thanks to Kelita Zupancic, gold medallist in the Under 70kg class. Stéfanie Tremblay also contributed to the medal haul and climbed onto the second step of the podium.

The final match pitted Zupancic, 5th in the world, against Cuban Onix Cortes Aldama, ranked 25th in the world. The Canadian athlete managed to pin her opponent to the ground, immobilize her, and score an ippon in the last minute of the match. “I did good ground work, with quick transitions. Everything seems like it’s coming together, it feels so good!,” rejoiced Zupancic, who appreciated the support from the crowd at the Mississauga Sports Centre. “It helped me keep my momentum.”

Three Canadian Judo Medals on the Pan-Am Tatami

Canadian judokas Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard and Antoine Bouchard climbed onto the second step of the podium in their weight classes, whereas Arthur Margelidon snatched the bronze on Sunday night, at the Toronto Pan-American Games.

Beauchemin-Pinard, ranked 11th in the world, was up against American Marti Malloy in the Under 57kg final. Malloy, 6th in the world, won the final match with a yuko.

Ecaterina Guica, Pan-American Judo Vice-Champion

On Saturday evening, Quebec judoka Ecaterina Guica won Canada’s first medal for tatami sports at the Pan-American Games in Toronto, the Under 52kg silver.

Guica had gone undefeated in the competition until she was stopped on her tracks by Brazil’s Erika Miranda. In the final match, the Brazilian, 3rd in the world, threw Guica and scored an ippon in a mere 26 seconds.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2015 Day 3 Recap & Photos

The Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix 2015, the final Grand Prix before August’s World Championships, concluded on Sunday at the atmospheric Buyant Ukhaa Sport Complex.

Mongolia’s premier competition has took pride of place in Ulaanbaatar since the first edition in 2013 and is rapidly developing as the athletes and spectators return every year with increased vigour.

Antoine Valois-Fortier Wins Gold at Grand Prix in Mongolia

Antoine Valois-Fortier snatched the gold medal on Saturday, at the Ulaanbaatar Judo Grand Prix, in Mongolia.

“It wasn’t one of my best days in terms of throwing, but I’m happy I won,” said the 25-year-old after beating Hungary’s Attila Ungvari in the final match. “It’s a good sign, especially two months before the World Championships.” Ungvari, 44th in the world, was penalized twice in the bout, whereas Valois-Fortier received only one penalty.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2015 Day 2 Recap & Photos

The Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix 2015 produced a fascinating day two as 34 nations aimed to stop the domination of the home nation with the middleweights in action at the Buyant Ukhaa Sport Complex.

On day two gold medallists were crowned in the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and men’s -73kg and -81kg categories as 73 judoka were in action in Ulaanbaatar with high expectations from the home crowd who witnessed their team hitting the medal trail on the opening day after a stunning haul of 11 medals including three gold.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2015 Day 1 Recap & Photos

The Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix 2015, the sixth Grand Prix of the season, started on Friday with a spectacular day of judo which was dominated by the home nation at the Buyant Ukhaa Sport Complex.

The three-day event, which is the penultimate Grand Prix before August’s World Championships, opened with the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and the men’s -60kg and -66kg categories.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 2015 Full Preview

The Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix 2015, the final Grand Prix before August’s World Championships, will be rich on quality and intrigue as a host of Olympic champions and rising names will be thrust into action from Friday 3 – Sunday 5 July at the Buyant Ukhaa Sport Complex.

Recent Judo Chairman Kerrith Brown Appointed IMMAF President

IMMAF is proud to announce Kerrith Brown as the new President of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), following election by unanimous board vote in Berlin on 20th June.

Following discussions with both the EJU and the BJA Board, Kerrith Brown resigned as Chairman of the British Judo Association due to ideological differences with the leadership of the European Judo Union and the International Judo Federation and to ensure the best interests of British Judo.

Oceania Judo Eyes Exciting Future After IJF Educational Tour

Official Launch of the Judo Educational Journey Through Oceania in Wollongong, Australia on the occasion of the National Championship.

Organised jointly by the IJF and Oceania Judo Union and IJF President Marius Vizer the latest edition of the globetrotting tour (after two editions in China and one in northern Canada previously), visited four countries and territories in Oceania (Australia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and New Caledonia).

Renaud-Roy Wins Against Zupancic in El Salvador

It was Canadian against Canadian in the fight for the gold in the Under 70 kg at the Pan American Open of San Salvador, in El Salvador this Sunday, when Alix Renaud-Roy defeated Kelita Zupanzic. Three Canadians also brought home bronze medals: Zachary Burt and Louis Krieber-Gagnon in the Under 81 kg class, and Ignacio Rodriguez in the Over 100 kg class.

The match between Renaud-Roy, 38th in the world, and Zupancic, 4th, went the distance and ended when a single penalty was awarded, with 90 seconds left on the clock.

Wins for Beauchemin-Pinard, Guica, Tremblay in El Salvador

Six Canadians climbed the podium, three of whom the all the way to the highest step, at the Judo Pan American Open of San Salvador, in El Salvador.

Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (Under 57 kg), Ecaterina Guica (Under 52 kg) and Stéfanie Tremblay (Under 63 kg) won the gold, while Jessica Klimkait (Under 57 kg) and David Ancor (Under 73 kg) lost their final matches and finished second, and Antoine Bouchard (Under 66 kg) won his match for the bronze.

Jean-Pierre Cantin Returns to Judo Canada

Coaches at Judo Canada will welcome a new member to their ranks beginning next month as Jean-Pierre Cantin takes over the reins of the Junior and Cadet programs at Montreal’s National Training Centre.

“I always wanted to develop high performance judo in Canada, that has always been a dream for me,” confided the former Olympic athlete, who came ninth at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, and who was part-time Junior National coach from 2001-2009.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Budapest 2015 Day 2 Recap & Photos

The Budapest Grand Prix 2015 came to a fascinating conclusion on Sunday as the remaining seven categories were decided at the Papp László Sportaréna.

On day two gold medallists were crowned in the women’s -70kg, -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -81kg, -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories as 207 judoka were in action in Budapest.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Budapest 2015 Day 1 Recap & Photos

The Budapest Grand Prix 2015 served up a high-octane spectacle on the opening day at the teeming Papp László Sportaréna as seven categories were contested in the Hungarian capital.

The two-day event has attracted 411 judoka from 66 nations as they once again showed their desire for Olympic qualification points at a crucial time in the Olympic cycle and the global appeal of the World Judo Tour. On the opening day in Hungary the women’s -48kg, -52kg, -57kg and -63kg categories and men’s -60kg, -66kg and -73kg categories were all contested and the hosts’ 43-strong team were backed every step of the way by a partisan crowd of judo lovers.

Short Day for Canadian Judokas in Budapest

Canadian judokas Antoine Bouchard, Étienne Briand and Arthur Margelidon all faced early eliminations this Saturday at the Budapest Grand Prix, in Hungary.

“We could have won the fights we lost,” admitted Michel Almeida, assistant coach for the national men’s team. “They were close. There wasn’t such a big difference in level between the competitors.”

IJF Judo Grand Prix Budapest, Hungary 2015 Full Preview

The Budapest Grand Prix is all set to captivate Hungary as the capital city hosts a star-studded field including Olympic champions from Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 June.

Budapest, which is also the location of the IJF Presidential Office, will host the 2017 World Championships and the event is every bit as important for the athletes as it is for the organisers.

Briand Takes Home Bronze at Judo European Open

Quebec judoka Étienne Briand is leaving Romania with a bronze medal around his neck. He beat France’s Guillaume Chaine in the fight for the third place, at the European Open in Cluj Napoca, on Saturday.

“The day was off to a difficult start, but after repechage, things started to look up for me,” said the Sept-Îles native. “In the match for the bronze, I was up against Chaine, who I think is a great athlete, a very physical judoka. I had already lost to him this year, just after Christmas. And as always, this fight was intense from the very start. He managed to get me to take two penalties, but then he slowed down a bit. Eventually I got him to take four penalties and I won.”

No Podium Place for Antoine Valois-Fortier in Morocco

Judoka Antoine Valois-Fortier came in fifth in the Under 81kg this Sunday, at the World Masters Championships in Rabat, Morocco.

With two penalties, he lost the fight for the bronze medal to Georgia’s Avtandili Tchrikishvili, world champion, who was penalized only once during the match. “I could have managed the match better,” says the Quebec native. “I should not have lost. He scored a yuko and I couldn’t bounce back.”

IJF Judo World Masters Morocco 2015 Day 2 Recap & Photos

The second day of the World Judo Masters, Mohammed VI, Rabat, Morocco, featured the last seven categories as the women’s -70kg, -78kg and 78kg and men’s -81kg, -90kg, -100kg and +100kg judoka were all in action at the Palace of Sport.

Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard Places Fifth in Rabat, Morocco

Canadian judoka Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard came in fifth in the Under 57kg class on Saturday, at the World Masters Tournament in Rabat, Morocco.

In the fight for the bronze, the Saint-Hubert native, ranked ninth in the world, succumbed to Nae Udaka, gold medallist in the last World Championships.

IJF Judo World Masters Morocco 2015 Day 1 Recap & Photos

The first day of the World Judo Masters, Mohammed VI, in Rabat, Morocco, featured the first seven categories as the women’s -48kg, -52kg, -57kg and 63kg and men’s -60kg, -66kg and -73kg categories were all in action at the Palace of Sport. With the top sixteen athletes per weight category being engaged, a show was guaranteed and the enthusiastic public was not disappointed, as round after round, the quality of judo was increasing. Broadcasted in over 150 countries, the event, which is offering 700 points to the winners, will definitely mark the beginning of a new period of development for judo worldwide.

Just one more paragraph for the intro: At the end of this first day, Mr. Vizer, the IJF President declared: “This a very good organisation and Morocco put a lot of effort to organize the World Masters. I especially want to thank His Majesty, the Kind Mohammed VI, for his great support. I also want to thank Teddy Riner, who played a key role to host the event in the country. My gratitude goes also to the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the National Olympic Committee of Morocco and the National Judo Federation, as well as to all those who participated in that success. Having the best judo players in the world guarantees to have a very high level of judo and that is what we had all day long. Throughout the preliminary rounds and the final block, we saw a lot of scores and I hope that tomorrow it will be the same. The World Masters are being held in Africa for the first time. It will open many doors to the development of judo in the continent. It is a very good motivation for all the judo players and beyond.“

IJF World Judo Masters Morocco 2015 Full Preview

The IJF World Judo Tour has now moved on to Morocco for the invite-only World Judo Masters event which will take place from 23-24 May at the Palace of Sport in Rabat. For the very first time in history, after Suwon (KOR 2010), Baku (AZE 2011), Almaty (KAZ 2012) and Tyumen (RUS 2013) the event gathering the top sixteen athletes per weight category will be held on the African soil. Under the patronage of the King of Morocco, his Highness Mohammed VI, the World Judo Masters will offer 700 points to the winners.

Tony Walby in Quarterfinals at ISBA Judo Games in Seoul

Ontario judoka Tony Walby competed in the quarterfinals in the Under 90kg class at the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) World Games in Seoul, South Korea.

After benefiting from an exemption out of the first round, Walby scored two waza-aris and beat Japan’s Aramitsu Kitazono by ippon.

Short Outings for Radoman, Gagne at ISBA Judo Championships

It was a short day for the two Canadian judokas at the IBSA World Championships, in Seoul, South Korea. Alexander Radoman (Under 81kg) and Priscilla Gagné (Under 52kg) tallied 0-2 and 0-1, respectively, in the multisport competition for visually-impaired athletes.

In his first match, Radoman lost by ippon to Mexico’s Eduardo Sanchez.

Judoka Justin Karn 7th at IBSA World Championships in Seoul

Justin Karn, the only Canadian in action on the tatami on the first day of the IBSA World Judo Championships, earned a seventh place in the Under 60kg class on Wednesday, in Seoul, South Korea. At the end of the day, the Guelph athlete had tallied three wins and two losses.

More than 250 competitors from about 40 countries took part in the multisport competition for visually-impaired athletes.

IJF Judo Grand Slam Baku 2015 Day 3 Recap & Photos

The Baku Grand Slam 2015 produced a stirring third and final day as the heavyweights lit up the Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre with a flurry of ippons on Sunday.

The Azerbaijan audience 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 Slam Baku 2015 Day 2 Recap & Photos

The Baku Grand Slam 2015 thrilled the home supporters on day two as the home nation delivered a second gold medal at the Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre 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 132 judoka were in action in Baku. An expectant partisan crowd turned out in great numbers to support their charges including Azerbaijan’s world number five Rustam ORUJOV (AZE) who was one of 40 judoka in the -73kg category which also included Olympic champion at -66kgs Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO).

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.