Montreal, January 8, 2017 – The next generation of Canadian judokas put in a fine performance on Sunday at the Elite National Championships, in the 18-and-under competition.
Andrée-Ann Somers (-44 kg), Maximus Litzenberger (-46 kg), Candice Driscoll (-48 kg), Arno Blackiere (-50 kg), Eibhleann Alexander (-52 kg), Aidos Sapenov (-55 kg), Rachel Krapman (-57 kg), Kaegan Young (-60 kg), Yasmine Nadon-Cloutier (-63 kg), Orlando Horak (-66 kg), Coralie Godbout (-70 kg), Adam Thomson (-73 kg) Anabelle Darlow (+70 kg), Alexandre Arencibia (-81 kg) and Benjamin Kendrick (-90 kg) are all going home with medals around their necks.
Rachel Krapman and Aidos Sapenov were named outstanding athletes of the tournament.
“These athletes are tomorrow’s prospects so it’s important to witness their intensity. I am very, very proud of these young people. They push themselves and they work really hard. Their sequencing is very impressive and they display high-level judo techniques despite their young age,” noted Jean-Pierre Cantin, the national coach of Junior and Cadet programs.
Cantin made particular mention of the performances of Ontario’s Benjamin Kendrick and Quebec’s Alexandre Arencibia. “Kendrick had a spectacular win and Arencibia also put in a remarkable performance. On the women’s side, some of the competitors were particularly dominant, including Anabelle Darlow. I’m very pleased with our young athletes.”
The new Canadian champions will now be invited to test themselves at an international tournament in Germany. “It’s the next step. If their results are good, they may find themselves competing in the Cadet World Championships in Chile next August,” the trainer explained.
For those who were not able to claim a gold medal at the Elite National Championships, their presence at the competition was not in vain. “Competing in the World Championships is great, but it’s just the beginning, not the end,” said Mr. Cantin. “At this age, the important thing is to keep improving. Simply being at this tournament allows them to gain experience and compete against stronger athletes.”
A total of 179 athletes took part in this weekend’s Elite National Championships. At the club ranking, Shidokan finished in first place, in front of both Lethbridge and Ajax Budokan.
“The tournament was a success once again, thanks to the indispensable work of the volunteers this weekend. Our new approach, which was to hold the competition in front a public audience, was very well received by the spectators, who enjoyed themselves,” affirmed Nicolas Gill, interim CEO of Judo Canada.