Montréal, September 13, 2014 – Ontarian Kelita Zupancic claimed top honours in the under 70 kg class, Saturday, at the Zagreb Grand Prix presented in Croatia. It was a tougher day for the rest of the Canadian squad, however, with Étienne Briand, Arthur Margelidon and Alix Renaud-Roy all suffering defeats in their opening matches.
Zupancic took down the Luxembourger Lynn Mossong, the Brazilian Maria Portela and the Croatian Barbara Matic on her way to the finale. She would go on to defeat the Pole Katarzyna Klys to come away with the gold medal.
“Kelita was extremely motivated today, because there were a number of judokas in the field she wanted to take revenge on. The first was Klys, who eliminated her at the World Championships, and the second was Matic, who defeated her at the Cuba Grand Prix this past June,” Canadian coach Jeremy Le Bris explained.
“Kelita went into each of her bouts with a specific game plan, and she followed them to a tee,” Le Bris added. “It was a really big win for her too, since the 300 points she earned will help greatly in the Olympic qualification process.”
Meanwhile, in the under 73 kg class, Briand was beaten by the German Julian Kolein while Margelidon lost to the Brazlian Leandro Cunha. On the women’s side, Renaud-Roy was eliminated by the Italian Valeria Ferrari in the under 70 kg division.
Francis-Méthot makes the podium in Pachuca
Later on in the day, in Pachuca, Mexico, Audrée Francis-Méthot claimed a bronze medal at the 2014 Pan American Sports Festival. Competing in the under 52 kg category, the Quebecoise came away with victories against the Venezuelan Jormary Palma and the American Maria Dhami. Her only loss of the day came versus the Dominican Maria Garcia.
Elsewhere, Nicolas Di Bartolo (-60 kg) and David Ancor (-73 kg) both finished with identical records of one win and two losses, each good for 5th place classifications.
As for Mackenzie Burt, she settled for a 7th place finish after coming away with one win in three contests.
The competitions will continue tomorrow in both Croatia and Mexico.