Montreal, June 29, 2019 – The Canada Cup is still going strong at the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau. On Saturday, junior athletes (U21) were under the spotlight. Like on Friday, Canadian athletes showed their dominance, winning 37 medals, 10 of which were gold.
Isabelle Harris had a perfect score after 4 fights in -63 kg. The athlete from British Columbia performed well, despite being fatigued from the several tournaments she attended recently. “I try to stay focused as much as I can and to improve small things every time. I performed well at Nationals, and I didn’t have a lot of time to try new things, so I tried to build on what I already had, and it gave good results,” she explained. A year ago, she had won the bronze medal; her gold medal today shows she’s on the right path. She will be competing next week at the Montreal Grand Prix before leaving for this summer’s European tour.
On the men’s side, in the -81 kg category, Alexandre Arencibia was a favourite, and he didn’t disappoint. The 18-year-old also offered a perfect day by winning his 3 matches. Last year, he had won the title in U18 and the bronze in U21. He proved his improvement with a title in U21 today. He won his first fight in less than a minute, setting the tone for the day. However, the final was more of a challenge. “Mackenzie Morgan has a style I’m not familiar with, so it was a lot harder, we went into golden score. In the end I was able to find a way and execute a technique I don’t always get right, so I’m really happy, I can see that I’m improving,” he said. The 2018 Junior World Championships bronze-medallist will have a busy summer and hopes to end on a good note with a title at the 2019 Junior World Championships next fall.
Jean-Pierre Cantin, the Junior national team coach, was happy with the performances of the athletes today. “There were few surprises with the results, those we expected to see on the podium were on the podium, and they’re going in the right direction. The tournament today was a great practice for the World Championships, it shows us where they are at and what they need to work on until the next tournament.” The only feminine category not won by a Canadian, -57 kg, saw a great performance by American Skylar Hattendorf. “She surprised us today, she was very strong and had great moves,” commented Cantin. Several junior athletes will also be attending the Grand Prix before leaving for the summer European tour in Czech Republic, Prague and Berlin; these tournaments will be the real test to see the preparation level of our young Canadian athletes before the Junior World Championships, held in Morocco in October.
The Canada Cup is continuing on Sunday morning with the U14 and U16 athletes. The weekend’s results and live streaming are available on www.judocanada.tv.
Written by Sarah Mailhot for Judo Canada