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Team Canada formally announced team of 8 with high expectations
28 Jun 2016 21:15
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 judo tournament from August 6 to 12. The eight athletes named to the team are Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (U57kg), Antoine Bouchard (U60kg), Ecaterina Guica (U52kg), Arthur Margelidon (U73kg), Sergio Pessoa Jr (U60kg), Kyle Reyes (U100kg), Antoine Valois-Fortier (U81kg) and Kelita Zupancic (U70kg).
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 eight 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.
Nicolas Gill, National Head Coach and High Performance Director, Judo Canada
"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!"
London 2012 bronze medallist Antoine Valois-Fortier said: "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."
Seeded judoka Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard: “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."
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