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.”