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Zupancic Impresses in Moscow

Montreal, May 29, 2011 – Kelita Zupancic impressed this Sunday at the Moscow Judo Grand Slam; the Quebec native reached the quarter finals of the Under 70kg category, and finished in fifth place.

 Zupancic won her first match of the day by battling New Zealand’s Moira de Villiers. “It was a good match up! I had previously competed against her and won her so I had some confidence going in,” commented Zupancic. After de Villiers, Zupancic took on Japan’s Haruka Tachimoto in the quarter final. “It’s always tough with Tachimoto. Nonetheless, I did well, and I had the feeling that I was dominant. Yet, she surprised me with an Ippon with less than a minute left, so I ended up in fifth place; I’m somewhat disappointed,” she concluded. 

 Nicolas Gill, a coach with Judo Canada, also provided some analysis of Zupancic’s performance. “She delivered a strong combat today. The score was even after 3 minutes 30 seconds, and Kelita was surprised by the resumption of the combat. That surprise was enough for Tachimoto; after all she is one the best in the world in the Under 70kg category,” he summarized. 

 A Tough Day for Quebec’s Athletes 

 Marylise Lévesque and Catherine Roberge both took to the Judo mat for competitions in the Under 78kg category today. Lévesque lost her first match due to an Ippon from Japan’s Akari Ogata. “Today was not a good day for me. I had a pass for the first round, after which I had to battle with the number four-ranked judoka in the world! I did feel ready after having watched her first match, even though we’d never competed against each other previously. I was able to destabilize her a bit at the beginning, then she set herself and performed an Ippon. The bout did not last long,” said Lévesque.

Teammate Roberge experienced a similar fate in her first match against Brazil’s Mayra Aguiar. “It wasn’t a good day for Catherine, either,” added Lévesque. “The Brazilian athlete started off with a Waza-ari, and got Catherine to the floor.” Roberge did not finish the bout. 

Antoine Valois-Fortier, who was competing in the Under 81kg category also had a quick end to his day, losing his first match by Ippon from Turkish athlete Ahmet Sari in less than a minute.

Many of Quebec’s judokas will travel to Spain for the Women’s World Cup, which will take place next weekend.