Montreal, January 14, 2018—Today was the second and last day at the Elite Nationals 2018, where it was time for the senior athletes to perform. Like the junior athletes yesterday, the Quebecois’ dominated the competition. They ended with an impressive 28 medals (11 gold, 6 silver and 11 bronze), with Alberta placing in second place (1 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze) and Ontario in third (1 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze).
One of the tournament’s favourites, Antoine Valois-Fortier, won all his fights today. The first two were won by ippon pretty quickly. “My back was injured for a while and I hadn’t competed since August. I was a little worried, because I was still in pain in the last few months, but I knew that I was coming here to win,” he said. “The fight for the gold medal against Arthur Margelidon was very tight—we know each other very well and he’s a strong opponent. I’m very happy with this victory.”
Athletes from the national team were able to see where they were regarding their preparation and perform one last time at home before leaving for a series of tournaments. For most of them, it was their last chance to fight in front of their friend and family in a while. “We’re leaving in February for a few competitions and training camps in Europe. The selection process for the Olympic Games in Tokyo starts in May. My main goal is to stay healthy until then. If I can manage that, I’m fairly confident that I’ll be able to make the team in 2020,” said Valois-Fortier.
The weekend was a success for everyone. Patrick Esparbès, from Judo Canada, have high praises for the event. “The venue was perfect and many volunteers gave us a hand to make the event a success. Many spectators came to watch the exploits of our athletes, who lived up to our expectations. Organizing the event was a big challenge, but the final result was spectacular. We wouldn’t have been able to make it without the incredible support from our partners, especially the city of Montreal, and La TOHU.”
Written by Sarah Mailhot for Judo Canada
Chief Operation Officer