Judo Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s judo team nominated to compete at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
The Team Canada judo team for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games is:
Isabelle Harris (Abbotsford, B.C.) – W -63kg
Julien Frascadore (Quebec City, Que.) – M -66kg
Coralie Godbout (Lévis, Que.) – W -78kg
Antoine Bouchard (Jonquière, Que.) – M -73kg
David Popovici (Montreal, Que.) – M -81kg
Alexandre Arencibia (Montreal, Que.) – M -90kg
Shady El Nahas (Toronto, Ont.) – M -100kg
Marc Deschênes (Laval, Que.) – M +100kg
Athletes were selected for Team Canada based on their performances at several selection tournaments across the continent from April 2022 to July 2023. The team is a mix of judokas with major Games experience, as well as those who will make their Pan American Games debuts.
Shady El Nahas, who placed fifth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, recently won gold in Calgary at the Panamerican-Oceania Senior Championships, defending his title that he won in 2022. He is currently ranked seventh in the world in the men’s -100kg weight class, in which he has won nine IJF Grand Slam medals. El Nahas will make his Pan Am Games debut at Santiago 2023, and hopes to follow in the footsteps of his brother, Mohab El Nahas, who won a bronze medal at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games.
“Despite my injuries this year, I believe in my judo and my coach Antoine Valois-Fortier trusts that I will be at my best for Santiago, said Shady El Nahas. He knows me well enough to know where to lead me in my preparation. I expect to be at 10 out of 10 physically, but at 11 out of 10 mentally.”
Antoine Bouchard won a silver medal on home soil at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, and went on to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where he finished fifth in his weight class. Bouchard won gold medals at both the Santo Domingo and the Guayaquil Panamerican Open events earlier this year.
Marc Deschênes, who also won silver in his weight class at Toronto 2015, will make his third straight Pan Am Games appearance, having also competed at Lima 2019. Deschênes won gold at the Santo Domingo Panamerican Open this past April, and added a bronze medal at the Panamerican-Oceania Senior Championships in September.
Isabelle Harris, Julien Frascadore, Coralie Godbout, David Popovici and Alexandre Arencibia will make their Pan Am Games debuts, but are fresh off a successful major Games experience. They all came home with medals from the 2023 Jeux de la Francophonie, held in Kinshasa, Congo this summer. Harris, Godbout and Arencibia won silver medals in their weight classes, while Popovici and Frascadore won gold. They will look to build on their experience in Congo and continue their development in the major Games environment at Santiago 2023.
“As we embark on the journey toward the 2023 Pan Am Games, we recognize that several of our top athletes have made the strategic decision to prioritize the rigorous preparations required for the Paris 2024 Olympic selection process,” said Nicolas Gill, CEO and High Performance Director of Judo Canada and two-time Olympic medallist. “While their absence is indeed felt, as we select a mix of young and experienced athletes for the Pan Am Games, we are confident that our dedicated judokas will rise to the occasion and showcase their remarkable talent, contributing to our continued growth as a judo powerhouse in the Americas.”
The Pan American Games program has included men’s judo since 1963, but women’s judo joined the program 20 years later. Canada, considered a top nation, has won more than 80 judo medals at the Pan American Games.
Judo will take place October 28-31 (Days 8 to 11) at the Centro de Deportes de Contacto of the Parque Estadio Nacional.
“Welcome to Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 judokas! I can’t wait to witness your every throw and ippon as they tell a story of your dedication and strength,” said Christine Girard, Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 Chef de Mission. “May your judo journey be marked by growth, unity and the pursuit of excellence, on and off the mat.”
Team Canada’s judo team coach and support staff for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games are:
Sasha Mehmedovic (Montreal, Que.) – Coach
Marie-Helene Chisholm (Montreal, Que.) – Team Leader
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organisations.
The latest Team Canada Santiago 2023 roster can be found here.
Patrick Esparbes, Chief Operating Officer
E: [email protected]
Tara MacBournie, Team Canada Santiago 2023 Sport Communications Lead
Canadian Olympic Committee
E: [email protected]