Today was the first day of the Canada Cup in Montreal, back after a 25-year absence and with a brand new IJF sanction. Some of the best athletes from all over the world were fighting for a spot on the podium; two stand-out performers were Ontarian Keagan Young, and Albertan Kiera Westlake.
Young (-73 kg) had a perfect day with three ippon in just as many fights, and all of them were scored in less than 15 seconds. He first defeated two fellow Canadians, Guillaume Gaulin and Lochlan Young in the preliminary round and semifinal, and ended with American Alexander Knauf in the gold medal fight. “I felt really good coming here; I knew I’d be able to perform well. I was happy to fight in front of a home crowd; I usually fight overseas, where nobody knows me, and nobody cares whether I win or lose. Here, everybody knows me, they were cheering in the stands, and it was great.” The Ontarian athlete will be fighting for another title on Sunday.
Kiera Westlake (-57 kg) also had a great day, and won all her fights by ippon. She won against Canadians Camelia Caldwell and Marianne Roux in the preliminary rounds, Catherine Miu Ting Lam from Hong Kong in the semifinal, and another Canadian, Rachel Krapman, in the final. “I felt really strong and well-rested before coming here. The first two fights went pretty smoothly, but the other girl in the final was very strong, so it was a lot harder. My technique felt great all day, and I’m happy with the result. It felt really good to stand on an all-Canadian podium in front of a Canadian crowd.” The 16-year-old will be fighting again tomorrow in the U21 category.
The tournament will continue tomorrow and Sunday at the Claude-Robillard Sports Centre. Live streaming of all the events is available on judocanada.tv, results are updated live on ippon.org, and admission is free for those who want to see the fights in person. More info can be found on canadacup.org.
Written by Sarah Mailhot for Judo Canada
Chief Operating Officer