Montreal, September 24, 2018 – Kelita Zupancic fought 4 times on Monday to finish in 7th place in the ‑70 kg category at the Judo World Championships in Baku, in Azerbaidjan. During her last fight, in repechage, the Whitby-native went into golden score, but in the end, she was defeated by Colombian Yuri Alvear, who went on to win a bronze medal.
Earlier in the day, the Canadian won by ippon against Italian Carola Paissoni and Spanish Maria Bernabeu, before losing against Maria Perez, from Puerto Rico, in the third round.
Emily Burt (Oshawa) won by ippon against Hungarian Szabina Gercsak and American Chantal Wright. The Ontarian was then eliminated in golden score by French Marie-Ève Gahie, who went on to win the silver medal.
“Kelita was disappointed in her performance, knowing she had a draw to possibly step on the podium,” said Canadian coach Sasha Mehmedovic. “Her repechage final against the Colombian was very close. Kelita had a good strategy, and took an early lead against her opponent, but she couldn’t maintain it. Her opponent managed to tie the score to push the match into golden score and scored on Kelita, which put an end to her hopes for a medal.”
The Canadian’s last opponent was strong, as we can confirm by the fact she stood on the podium for the 6th time at a World Championship. Alvear, the Olympic runner-up, won the gold medal in 2009, 2013, and 2014, and the silver medal in 2015 and 2017.
Japanese Chizuru Arai won the gold medal, and Yoko Ono, also from Japan, won the second bronze medal.
On the men’s team, in -90 kg, Louis Krieber-Gagnon (Montreal) lost by ippon against South Korean Gwak Donghan after receiving a bye through the first round.
Zach Burt, from Oshawa, was also defeated by ippon by French Aurélien Diesse.
On Tuesday, Kyle Reyes (-100 kg) will be the only athlete representing Canada on the mats.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada