Montreal, September 4, 2018 – Judo Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee, announced today that Rachel Krapman and Keagan Young will be on Team Canada during the third edition of the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“It’s definitely an honour, I’m pretty excited, it’s a cool thing to happen. I can’t wait to see what happens,” said Keagan Young.
“I was training hard for the past year and competing in tournaments to be selected. I’m very honoured that I was selected as the female representative for Canada,” added Rachel Krapman.
For Krapman and Young, the Youth Olympic Games, which gathers athletes aged 15 to 18 from all over the world, will be the biggest event they have attended. “It’ll give them a taste of a major multi-sport event. It’s the beginning of a long journey, hopefully leading them to the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024,” mentioned Judo Canada CEO and High Performance Director, Nicolas Gill.
Rachel Krapman, who usually fights in the -57 kg category, will be in action in the -63 kg event. Keagan Young will also be in a new category, competing in the -81 kg event instead of -73 kg.
“As neither of them will be fighting in their own category, we’re not expecting ground-breaking results, but we believe that Keagan could surprise a few of the favourites!” said Nicolas Gill.
“I’m pretty small, but hopefully I’ll be able to get a medal or advance far into the tournament,” said Young, who won a bronze medal at the last Pan American Junior Championships. “It’ll be the first time I fight against half the people there, so I’m trying to fight against people with different styles leading up to the Games.”
On her part, Rachel Krapman knows it will be challenging, and she’s also training hard to stand out next month. “I have to focus on getting stronger and bigger. I’m also working on my technique and my throws.”
The athletes will be accompanied by provincial coach James Millar, for whom the Games will also be a first coaching experience at a major event. “It represents a great growth opportunity for James Millar. He’ll be able to gain a valuable experience for his development as a coach,” explained Nicolas Gill.
“It’s a privilege and an honour to lead these athletes to such an event. I think it’ll be a good experience for them in the long term,” said Millar, who’s quite confident that his proteges will stand out in Buenos Aires. “Their training has been going well in the last year. I’m quite confident that they can surprise a few people at the Youth Olympic Games.”
In 2014, during the last Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, Jessica Klimkait (-63 kg) and Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-81 kg) were chosen to represent Canada. They had respectively finished in 5th and 7th place. Four years later, both athletes are in the run to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
In Buenos Aires, the judokas will be in action from October 7 to 11.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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