Alexandria Lefort and Ludwing Ortiz kick off the Canadian Open Championships 19 May 2023
One year later, Frédéric De Cardaillac and Catherine Toshkov win the coveted title 21 May 2023
The two judokas earn Canadian Championship titles and their ticket to Cadet World Championships
The stakes were high Friday, on Day Two of the Judo Canadian Open Championships taking place at the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau in Montréal. In total, 27 national titles were granted in Senior and Under 18 categories, where several athletes also earned a spot in the upcoming World Cadet Championships scheduled for August in Croatia.
Marianna Karas and Yehor Paladii were motivated by one such challenge, and today, didn’t miss their chance to shine in front of the many judo fans gathered at the Centre PC!
Defending champion in the Over 70 kg category, Alberta’s Karas was flawless on the tatami, winning her four bouts, including the last two by ippon against her long-time rival, Frédérique Lavigne of Québec. Karas first defeated Lavigne in the final to secure the gold medal. Then, the Albertan made winning a repeat performance with a win a little later in a tie-breaker bout needed to decide the division’s overall national ranking. The 17-year-old was thrilled with the result. “It’s a really good feeling to win today (Friday)! I knew it would be difficult, especially stepping onto the tatami with Frédérique, who’d already beaten me a few times this year. However, I was really motivated to finish my season on a high note and I prepared super well. It made a huge difference for me,” she analyzed a few minutes before stepping on the podium. These wins mean that Karas will once again have the chance to showcase her skills at the Cadet Worlds, where she underperformed last year. “I can’t really ask for more! My goal was to win here (in Montréal) and then go back (to Cadet Worlds) and get back on track. I’m going to train hard to be ready and perform better this time,” she noted with confidence. Also in the U18 category but in men’s judo, Yehor Paladii also secured his own ticket to Croatia by winning the U18 81kg class. The Ontario native was a dominant force in all four of his bouts, capping his tournament with a win over teammate Matthew Serrano in the grand final. “I don’t have enough words to describe how I’m feeling right now. I’m thrilled with my win – it was a really good day. I performed well throughout the bouts and I’m leaving with the gold, it’s incredible!” enthused Paladii. Paladii – who won gold in the same category at the Canadian Elite Championships last December – is now collecting his very first gold medal at the Open Nationals. The latter is a victory that will also permit him to live the unique experience of representing his country. “It’s a genuine honor for me, and I can’t wait to go to Worlds!” he concluded before returning to the medal ceremony. More judo excitement and action is in store for Saturday at Centre Pierre-Charbonneau, featuring the Under-16 and Under-21 tournaments. Over 450 bouts will be presented to determine the winners of the 31 titles up for grabs at Day Three of the Canadian Open Championships. Didn’t read about your favourite judoka yet? Check out all results on the Judo Canada website. The competitions is also live streamed on judocanada.tv.