May 26, 2017 – The British Columbians made quite an impression on Friday at the Canadian Judo Championships Presented by biosports.team, which are being held in Calgary this weekend. Not only did the U18 age group snag a total of 12 medals, of which three were gold, but another two medals were won by the veterans.
The day’s full results can be found online at http://www.judocanada.tv/resultatsresults/
Eibhleann Alexander (U52 kg), Tiffany Coolican (U57 kg), and Ian Ryder (U90 kg) all won gold for BC.
“Last year, the province won a total of five medals in the U18 group; this year we’ve more than doubled it,” exclaimed Jeremy Le Bris, Sport Development Director for Judo BC. “It was a great performance and a big step forward.”
Of the seven British Columbian judokas who made it to the finals on Friday evening, three still qualify for the U16 age category. “The future is looking good,” noted Le Bris.
We can expect to see more of his young protégés on the podium this weekend since the team’s goal is to return home with 32 medals. “It’s a lofty goal but it’s achievable. There’s a lot of potential here.”
Gold for Keagan Young and Ilhem Ouali
Ontario’s Keagan Young, who was named 2016 Canadian champion in the U16 age group, dominated Alberta’s Christian Hill in today’s final to claim this year’s U18 title.
“I’m very happy. It’s the result of a lot of hard work and training,” noted Young, who competed in the U66 kg weight class.
“My semi-final bout was a difficult one so I was glad to get through it. In the final I was up against someone I’ve fought before so I knew how to beat him,” he added.
Fifteen-year-old Ilhem Ouali, two-time Canadian silver medallist, won her first national title on Friday. “I’m really proud,” stated the Québécoise, who claimed the U18 gold medal in the U63 kg weight group.
In the gold medal final, Ouali’s impressive footwork and speed on the tatamis enabled her to overpower fellow Québécoise Yasmine Nadon Cloutier. “Even though I was able to keep my nervousness at bay, I was stressed during my final bout because I had faced that opponent in the past.”
Katas: Passes to Italy Up for Grabs
For the Kata specialists, the Canadian Championships Presented by biosports.team began on Thursday with events in the six categories. However, there was more at stake than simply gold medals for the teams that competed: the winners guaranteed themselves a spot at the Kata World Championships being held in Italy next October.
Two duos stood out during the high-calibre event. Gord Okamura and Kelly Palmer of Alberta put on an impressive showing in front of their fans, with scores of 406 points in the Katame-No-Kata category and 495 points in the Kime-No-Kata category. Their excellent performance had been highly anticipated in Calgary since they placed fifth at the most recent World Championships.
In the Goshin Jutsu Kata category, Davin Marion and Shane Rooney climbed to the top of the podium with a total of 517 points. They too had performed well at last year’s World Championships. Rooney also claimed a gold medal in Ju-No-Kata with his other partner, Bailey Hu.
“With all the international experience they’ve acquired, it was expected that they would make it to the top of the podium,” commented Daniel De Angelis, Judo Canada’s Canadian Kata representative at the International Judo Federation.
Erin Reim and Dmytro Samoilenko (U21) of Quebec and Paul Whishaw and John Morris (Nage No Kata) of British Columbia are the other Canadian Kata champions.
The Canadian Championships Presented by biosports.team will continue on Saturday, when judokas in the U16 and U21 divisions will hit the tatamis.