Montreal, May 2, 2015 – Kelita Zupancic stepped onto the third step of the podium in the Under 70kg class, Saturday, at the Zagreb Grand Prix in Croatia. In her battle for the bronze, the Ontario native defeated Poland’s Katarzyna Klys (world-ranked 11th) with a waza-ari.
“She controlled the whole match, and never allowed herself to be in any danger. The Polish girl couldn’t find a way to answer Kelita,” noted Team Canada Coach Sasha Mehmedovic.
Zupancic, currently ranked third in the world in her weight category, began her competitive day with a victory against The Republic of Georgia’s Esther Stam (world-ranked 35th). The Canadian judoka then fell victim to an ippon dolled out by Israel’s Linda Bolder (31st internationally). In repechage however, Zupancic got her winning ways back and defeated Russia’s Alena Prokopenko (50th internationally).
“Today Kelita fought well. She was very strong with her grips and controlled her matches very well. She was surprised in the quarter final against the Israeli judoka, but managed to easily come back for the bronze medal,” concluded Mehmedovic.
In the same category, Alix Renaud-Roy finished her day in seventh place. The Quebec native is ranked 41st internationally, and began her day with a win via ippon against Bosnia’s Aleksandra Samardzic (world-ranked 58th). Renaud-Roy then won her next bout through penalties, against Spain’s Maria Bernabeu (27th internationally).
In the quarter final, Renaud-Roy again suffered a defeat by ippon, at the hands of Britain’s Sally Conway – ninth internationally. The Canadian then lost in repechage against France’s Fanny Estelle Posvite (world-ranked 21st) by three penalties.
In the Under 63kg class, Stéfanie Tremblay (78th internationally) was eliminated in her first round by Mongolia’s Munkhzaya Tsedevsuren (world-ranked 22nd), the later of whom won the bout by yuko.
In Men’s judo action, Arthur Margelidon (28th internationally) was halted in his third series of matches in the Under 73kg category, where he ended the day in ninth place. After scoring wins via ippon against Portugal’s Andre Alves (world-ranked 36th) and Russia’s Denis Iartcev (world-ranked 16th), Montreal native Margelidon was surprised by the Ukraine’s Artem Khomula (116th internationally) who won via ippon.
“Arthur started the day off really strong. Unfortunately, after beating the Russian judoka in the second round, he had to face the Ukranian judoka in the beginning of the third bout,” said Mehmedovic.
In the same class as Margelidon, Alexis Morin-Martel (46th internationally) was defeated in this first round with a waza-ari, yuko, and in penalities by Spain’s Ares Herrero Osorno (world-ranked 117th). Quebec’s Morin-Martel did score a waza-ari against the Spanish judoka.
Finally, Antoine Valois-Fortier – ranked third internationally in the Under 81kg class – was eliminated in his first round. The Quebec native earned two penalties in his bout against Lebanon’s Nacif Elias (world-ranked 29th).
Sunday, Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi will be in action on the tatami in the Under 78kg class.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada