Announcing the Canadian Judo Team for Paris 2024

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Montréal, June 27, 2024 – Judo Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced the names of the athletes who will compete in judo at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

As a result of the qualification process, which took place between June 2022 and June 2024, a total of seven judokas will represent Canada in the French capital.

Five of the Canadian judokas will be among the top seeds in their respective categories, including Christa Deguchi (-57 kg) and Shady ElNahas (-100 kg), both of whom won silver medals at last month’s World Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

“Christa is highly favoured to win the Olympic title in her weight category. She secured her spot on the team following a two-year campaign, in which she won a gold and a silver medal at the World Championships, while also topping the world rankings. She deserves a lot of credit for coming back so strong in the qualification process, with top-level performances,” said Nicolas Gill, chief executive officer and high performance director of Judo Canada.

“Like his teammate, Shady also performed very successfully to secure his spot at the Olympics,” added Gill. “Over the past couple of years, he’s really outdone himself, and he finally stepped onto the World Championships podium last month. He’s been in the top eight in the world for quite a while now, and at the age of 26, he’s in peak shape. He’s got everything going for him!”

Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard once again has her sights set on the podium in the under-63 kg weight class. “In my opinion, she’s gotten into her best shape ever just in time for the Olympics,” said Gill of the veteran judoka, who is currently ranked second in the world in her category. “She finished fifth at the most recent World Championships, where, for the first time in her career, she defeated reigning Olympic champion and multi-time world champion Clarisse Agbegnenou of France. That win was a big confidence booster, coming right before the Olympics. Catherine followed the plan we came up with after her bronze medal in Tokyo to the letter, and she’s in a great position heading into the Games!”

François Gauthier-Drapeau, who holds fifth place in the world rankings and who finished fifth at the 2023 World Championships, will be one to watch in the under-81 kg category, where the battle for the Olympic title in Paris promises to be a tight one.

“François finished fifth at the 2023 World Championships in a category with a highly competitive top fifteen at the world level. He’s had some great results over the past year, and he can certainly hold his own against the world’s top judokas, and possibly even finish on the podium,” said Gill.

The Canadian delegation will be rounded out by rookies Kelly Deguchi (-52 kg), Ana Laura Portuondo (+78 kg), and Arthur Margelidon (-73 kg), who will be competing in his second Olympic Games. Margelidon finished fifth in Tokyo.

“We’re on track to meet the targets we set for ourselves at the beginning of this Olympic cycle. The fact that we have five athletes who have competed for medals at the World Championships or the Olympic Games in the past demonstrates the high level of excellence of our group. It’s a great achievement,” concluded Gill, just a few weeks before the start of the Paris 2024 Games.

In addition to the individual competitions, which are slated to be held from July 27 to August 2 at the Champ-de-Mars Arena, Canada will also take part in the team event that will conclude the judo competitions on August 3.

The Canadian delegation to Paris will be headed by London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Antoine Valois-Fortier, who will be looking to lead his squad to the podium in the City of Light.

“We have a great team, and several of our athletes are well-positioned to compete for a spot on the podium. The past two years have shown us that our athletes have what it takes to get there, and we’re very excited for the big day to arrive. Everyone is feeling good. They’re all in good health, and their training is going well,” said the national head coach, who is feeling optimistic about the team event.

“The individual strength of each of our athletes will make us one of the teams to look out for, that’s for sure! We have great team spirit, and all the judokas will give their best in their quest to win a medal.”

Athletes and coaches, Canadian Olympic judo team:

  1. Antoine Valois-Fortier (Montréal, QC) – National Head Coach
  2. Janusz Pawlowski (Montréal, QC) – National Assistant Coach
  3. Nicolas Gill (Montréal, QC) – CEO and High Performance Director
  4. Tiffany Hunting (Montréal, QC) – Physiotherapist

Before being confirmed as members of Team Canada, all nominated athletes are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee, once all nominations have been received from the national sport organizations.

Click here for Team Canada’s up-to-date roster for the Paris Games.

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Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operating Officer
Judo Canada
(514) 668-6279
p.esparbes@judocanada.org

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