Teddy Riner Back to Competition in Montreal

Photo Rafal Burza, Judo Canada
Teddy Riner

Montreal, June 27, 2019 – Teddy Rinerchose the Montreal Grand Prix next week to come back to competition in the +100 kg category. A few days before arriving on Canadian soil, the judoka was already feeling the excitement.

“After about a year and a half out of the competition, I was getting bored! But it was a choice to manage my career in a way I could continue and reach my goal of a third gold medal in Tokyo. You have to be patient and accept what’s happening. We learn to save our energy and not skip any step. I think time has come now. I need to know where I’m at. It’s my comeback and I’m really happy to do it in Canada during the Montreal Grand Prix. It offers great features in sporting terms, and it’s also well placed on the calendar. It will be my first time visiting Canada. I’ve been told it’s a beautiful country, that Montreal is a great place to live and that Canadians are very welcoming. I’m excited, and even though I know I won’t be there to visit, I’m happy it’s happening there,” said the two-time Olympic champion.

Although the Frenchman already has a worldwide reputation, the European celebrity will, without a doubt, impress the crowd during the prestigious tournament on Canadian soil held at the Maurice-Richard arena on July 5-7.

“He is by far the greatest judoka in history. He’s a 10-time world champion. He’s a celebrity well outside his sport. Montreal will be his first time back on the mat after 18 months out. For our first Grand Prix in Montreal, it’s a gift from heaven to have an athlete of his calibre attending,” said Nicolas Gill, CEO and High Performance Director of Judo Canada.

Riner first planned on being back on the mat in spring, but an injury kept him out a little longer. His latest result dates back to November of 2017, when he won his tenth World Champion title in Marrakech.

Since there are few international tournaments in May and June, the Montreal Grand Prix is timely for the recipient of 30 or so gold medal on the international stage. The event will be the first Grand Prix of the summer.

“We have a great timing before the World Championships, an event I think he wants to win,” explained Gill. “When we chose the date on the calendar, we wanted to place the event to help prepare our athletes for Worlds, but we also knew it could attract big names. Travelling from Paris to Montreal is easy, and being in a francophone setting also helped his choice.”

An Example for the Younger Generation

The 2.03 m giant is already a two-time Olympic champion, in London in 2012 and Rio in 2016, and has also won a bronze medal in Beijing in 2008.

The 30-year-old isn’t done yet. Riner is now getting ready for Tokyo in 2020, where he hopes to win a third gold medal. The judoka born in Pointe-à-Pitre, in Guadeloupe, would then rival Japanese Tadahiro Nomura’s record, three-time Olympic champion (1996, 2000 and 2004) in -60 kg. After receiving his sixth dan last Winter, the athlete hopes to pursue his prolific career until the Paris Olympic Games in 2024 and maintain his position as one of the greats in his sport.

For Nicolas Gill, there’s no doubt that Riner’s presence will be a learning experience for judokas of all ages attending the event, which is also part of the selection process for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“He’s very serious, methodical and professional.He doesn’t underestimate his opponents and never compromises his preparation, even though he’s a 10-time world champion. Younger athletes who will meet him or see him from the stands will learn from him,” added the CEO and High Performance Director of Judo Canada.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
Information:514-990-0966 | 1-866-990-0966


Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operating Officer
Judo Canada
(514) 668-6279

Montreal, June 18, 2019 – Almost a year before the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, on July 5-7, the world’s best judokas will be gathered at the Maurice-Richard Arena for the Montreal Grand Prix. As part of the Olympic qualification process, 49 Canadian athletes will have a chance to score valuable points, and they’ll do it in front of a home crowd, a precious asset for them.

“Canadian athletes will be able to compete with all the at-home advantages: cheering from the crowd, no jet lag, and we’ll be staying home,” said Antoine Valois-Fortier, a veteran on the Canadian team who knows a great comeback on the mat after a back surgery.

The London bronze medallist recently won to bronze medals in Grand Prix, on top of the Pan American Champion title.

“Of course, there will be a little more pressure than usual, because we want to perform well in front of our family and friends, but it’ll bring out the best in most athletes. It’ll be a big show!”

Three-time medallist in Grand Slam in the last season, including a gold medal at the Osaka Grand Slam in November 2018, Ontarian Jessica Klimkait will also benefit from the support of her friends and family, who will drive from Whitby, her native town, to see the Grand Prix in Montreal. “It’s really exciting to compete at this level at home. It’ll be nice for our team to be able to showcase our skills in front of a home crowd!”

If anyone on the Canadian team has enough hindsight to know the importance of the Montreal Judo Grand Prix, it would be retired athlete Nicolas Gill, who is now the CEO and High Performance Director of Judo Canada.

“It’s a historic event! Last time Canada hosted an event of this size was in 1993, when Hamilton hosted the World Championships.”

He should know, having won a silver medal in -86 kg, a category that doesn’t exist anymore, and “with a weight I’ll never see again!” he joked, 26 years later.

The Montreal Grand Prix is the most important judo event since the 1976 Olympic Games. “The magnitude of this event for our sport is huge,” explained Gill.

Jessica Klimkait thinks judo has never had such a beautiful platform. “Since this is the first Grand Prix ever held in Canada, it will play an important role in bringing awareness and exposure of judo across the country, and especially to local judokas in Montreal,” she added.

The tournament on Canadian soil will launch the second and last year of the Olympic qualification process.

Jessica Klimkait, hoping to be part of the Canadian team in Tokyo, sees this stop in Montreal as positive.

“There’s more pressure having this tournament held in Canada; however, I think that this pressure will actually impact me in a positive way, making me even more excited than usual to compete and do well.”

Nicolas Gill can already see the effects of media interest. “It’s a great way to promote judo in the media. So far, media exposure fosters the interest and it’s very positive.”

The Importance of Standing Out

A single athlete in each category will represent Canada at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The depth gained by the Canadian team over the years means no athlete will have their spot on the team handed on a silver platter, even for World Championships medallists like Christa Deguchi (bronze, 2018) and Antoine Valois-Fortier (silver, 2014; bronze, 2015).

Olympians Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard and Antoine Bouchard, who both went up a category since the 2016 Olympics, have adapted well to the change and will be to watch.

Canadian Athletes at the IJF 2019 Montreal Judo Grand Prix

AthleteCategoryProvinceHome Club
Alexandre Dibartolo-60 kg HQCClub de judo Shidokan inc.
Gueorgui Poklitar-60 kg HQCKiseki Judo
Joel Demaere-60 kg HABLethbridge Kyodokan Judo Club
Hakim Chala-60 kg HQCKiseki Judo
Jacob Valois-66 kg HQCClub de Judo Boucherville inc.
Julien Frascadore-66 kg HQCCentre Budo Kwai Quebec Inc
Dontae De Jesus-66 kg HONAction and Reaction MMA
Mitchell Markwat-66 kg HBCAbbotsford Judo Club
Arthur Margelidon-73 kg HQCClub de judo Shidokan inc.
Antoine Bouchard-73 kg HQCClub judokas Jonquière inc.
Bradley Langlois-73 kg HONAJAX Budokan
Constantin Gabun-73 kg HQCClub de judo Shidokan inc.
Antoine Valois-Fortier-81 kg HQCClub de judo Shidokan inc.
Étienne Briand-81 kg HQCAcadémie de Judo de Sept-Îles
Alex Marineau-81 kg HQCDojo Perrot Shima
Alexandre Arencibia-81 kg HQCClub de judo Shidokan inc.
Louis Krieber-Gagnon-90 kg HQCClub de judo Shidokan inc.
Zachary Burt-90 kg HQCClub de judo Shidokan inc.
Maxim Côté-90 kg HQCAcadémie de Judo de Sept-Îles
Mohab Elnahas-90 kg HONJccc – Judo Kai
Kyle Reyes-100 kg HQCClub de judo Shidokan inc.
Tavis Jamieson-100 kg HBCSteveston Judo Club
Shady Elnahas-100 kg HONJccc – Judo Kai
Ian Ryder-100 kg HBCSteveston Judo Club
Marc Deschênes+100 kg HQCClub de judo Shidokan inc.
Kevin Gauthier+100 kg HQCClub de Judo d’Asbestos-Danville
Joe Casey Andres+100 kg HABLethbridge Kyodokan Judo Club
Virginia Nemeth-48 kg FABLethbridge Kyodokan Judo Club
Ema Tesanovic-48 kg FABIshi Yama Institute Of Judo
Ecaterina Guica-52 kg FQCClub judokas Jonquière inc.
Marie Besson-52 kg FQCClub de judo Shidokan inc.
Taeya Koliaska-52 kg FABLethbridge Kyodokan Judo Club
Jessica Klimkait-57 kg FONAJAX Budokan
Alexandra Gagnon-57 kg FABTolide Judo Kwai
Christa Deguchi-57 kg FABLethbridge Kyodokan Judo Club
Kelly Taylor-57 kg FABLethbridge Kyodokan Judo Club
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard-63 kg FQCClub de judo Saint-Hubert
Camelia Pitsilis-63 kg FQCClub de judo Saint-Hubert
Sierra Tanner-63 kg FNSAtlantic Training Center
Isabelle Harris-63 kg FBCAbbotsford Judo Club
Kelita Zupancic-70 kg FONFormokan Judo Club
Emily Burt-70 kg FQCClub de judo Shidokan inc.
Hanako Kuno-70 kg FABLethbridge Kyodokan Judo Club
Mina Coulombe-78 kg FQCClub de judo Baie-Comeau
Allayah Copeland-78 kg FONAJAX Budokan
Shianne Gronen-78 kg FABLethbridge Kyodokan Judo Club
Megan Hanks+78 kg FBCAberdeen Judo Academy
Coralie Godbout+78 kg FQCClub de judo de la Vieille Capitale
Asia Douglas+78 kg FONToronto Judo Kai


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada



Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operation Officer
Judo Canada
(514) 668-6279
[email protected]


Montreal, June 18, 2019 – Nearly 350 athletes, 60 countries, 50 television broadcasting and over 200 webcasts. The Montreal Judo Grand Prix, hosted at the Maurice-Richard Arena on July 5-7, will bring an international flavour, and not only for the judo community.

Among the countries to watch, Japan is obviously on top of the list. Not only because this is where judo comes from, but also because the Olympic dream is even more alive for Japanese judokas, knowing their country will be hosting the next Olympics.

Even though judo has champions coming from all continents, those from the Land of the Rising Sun have always been high-level athletes, regardless of the era.

One of the most prominent figures of judo in Japan is Kosei Inoue, who had defeated Nicolas Gill during the 2000 Sidney Olympic Games final in -100 kg. Nineteen years later, Mr. Inouie will be in Montreal as the Japanese men’s team coach. His team won’t be there to be tourists.

“The Montreal Grand Prix will be a high-level competition and we will be very prepared for this important event. The men’s team’s goal is to achieve top results in Montreal, and gain momentum for the upcoming World Championships and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” he explained.

We heard similar comments from Katsuyuki Masuchi, the Japanese women’s team coach.

“The Montreal Grand Prix will be one of the biggest events leading up to the 2019 World Championships and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The women’s team will be prepared to perform at our highest level. The Canadian judokas are always in great form, and I can see that athletes and coaches collaborate as a team to reach their objectives. Team Canada is one of our strongest rivals.”

Japanese Soichi Hashimoto, 2017 world champion in -73 kg, will be one to watch in Montreal. Other headliners are Brazilian Sarah Menezes, Olympic gold medallist in 2012 in -52 kg, Argentinian Paula Pareto, Olympic champion in 2016 in -48 kg, and German Alexander Wieczercak, world champion in 2017 in -81 kg.

Beyond results, the Montreal Judo Grand Prix will allow the sport to shine outside of Asia and Europe, where it is firmly secured, as stated by Marius Vizer, President of the IJF (International Judo Federation).

“We are looking forward to taking the IJF World Judo Tour to Canada for the inaugural Montreal Grand Prix. This is a tremendous opportunity to further develop judo in Canada and the Pan American region. I’m pleased to say that Canada is also a candidate to host the 2021 Cadet World Championships. This is an exciting time for Judo Canada!”

Canadians, Japanese, Europeans, Americans, Africans and Asians will all be gathered in Montreal with the same goal in mind: surpass themselves and make their country proud.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada



Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operation Officer
Judo Canada
(514) 668-6279
[email protected]


Montreal, June 18, 2019 – When the IJF (International Judo Federation) granted Montreal the right to host one stage of the Grand Prix Circuit last fall, Judo Canada was very excited at the idea to welcome over 450 athletes coming from 60 countries. They had to act quickly though, because finding enough funding for such an event in less than a year is a short deadline.

“It’s coming up fast and we are very excited! It has been a long time since the circuit was in North America,” said Mike Tamura, President of Judo Canada.

Sport Canada, the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation, the Ministère du Tourisme, des Langues officielles et de la Francophonie, the city of Montreal, Tourisme Montréal and the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec have accepted Judo Canada’s invitation to support the organization of the event with a quick turnaround.

“Hosting an international sport event, regardless of the sport, is expensive. Without the support of Sport Canada, the federal and provincial governments, and the city of Montreal, we wouldn’t have been able to put this event together. We are grateful for the support allowing us to host an IJF Grand Prix for the first time ever in Canada.”

When becoming the CEO and High Performance Director of Judo Canada, Nicolas Gill wanted to “boost the competition calendar.” The former athlete admits things happened faster than anticipated; it was first thought a Grand Prix would be hosted in Canada for the 2024 Games Olympic cycle.

The last stretch before the Tokyo Olympic Games was already looking very busy for Judo Canada, but after the withdrawal of certain events on the international calendar, the national federation decided to grab this opportunity and take up the challenge of hosting a Grand Prix in Montreal.

“The opportunity presented itself and, of course, our goodwill and efforts would mean nothing without the partnership with the three levels of government. They are essential to host such events.”

The decision of hosting the Canadian stage of the international circuit in Montreal might have to do with the fact that the national training centre is located in the city.

“The partnership we have with the city of Montreal and the government of Quebec for everything we do for high-level judokas is incredible!” said Mike Tamura. “There’s also the Institut national du sport du Québec and, of course, Nicolas Gill. He was an excellent athlete and coach, and is now a great CEO and High Performance director working for a sport he loves.”

Mr. Tamura thinks judo has the wind in its sails, as we can see with the hosting of the Grand Prix, but also with the results of Canadian athletes, who are stepping on the podium more and more often, whether at the World Championships or the Grand Slam and Grand Prix events.

All this success wouldn’t have been possible without a collective effort.

“In the past, other Judo Canada’s presidents tried to host a Grand Prix, and they weren’t able to do it. Luckily for Nicolas and I, we were able to reach this goal together. The work was done over 13 years. We need a lot of people to host this kind of event, and I am privileged that the team I put together succeeded, members of the Board and staff members alike. It wouldn’t have been possible without everybody’s effort.”

It’s now time for the judokas to shine on the mats at the Maurice-Richard Arena.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada



Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operation Officer
Judo Canada
(514) 668-6279
[email protected]


Montreal, February 25, 2019 – Judo Canada now has a link to download high quality and recent pictures of their athletes in action. There will be one designated album for each carded athlete, as well as one for the staff members. The albums will be updated on a regular basis. Unless indicated otherwise on the pictures, all credits go to Rafal Burza, Judo Canada’s official photographer.

For Judo Canada, it’s important to offer this virtual library and to make it easily accessible to maintain a relation outside the Olympic years. We hope this initiative help you in your search. Don’t hesitate to send us your comments and suggestions, as they will help us get better.

Click on the following link to see the albums: http://bit.ly/2QamgGd.

Also, all athletes’ bios will be updated using the following format: judocanada.org/athletes/antoine-valois-fortier/.

We thank you for your valuable support – it’s essential to the success and outreach of our athletes!

– 30 –

Source :

Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operation Officer
Judo Canada
[email protected]

Montreal, October 17, 2018 – For the first time in history, Canada will host an event on the world’s most prestigious international judo circuit. In July 2019, the Montreal Grand Prix will bring together the world’s top 500 athletes from more than 60 countries for this pivotal competition in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic selection process.

“This decision by the International Judo Federation (IJF) is very significant,” affirmed Nicolas Gill, Chief Executive Officer and High Performance Director of Judo Canada. “It brings Canada into the major leagues of our sport! The IJF will witness first-hand the exceptional quality of judo events held in Montreal, which is our largest market in the country.”

“A very positive aspect for Judo Canada is the opportunity to provide the spectators in Montreal with an exciting show involving the best judokas in the world, including Canadians. For the first time ever, we will have the home field advantage in an Olympic selection competition and we intend to take full advantage of it to showcase Canada’s athletes,” added Gill.

From July 5 to 7, 2019, the Maurice-Richard arena will be the site of the 2019 Montreal Grand Prix, which will be televised in more than 50 countries and digitally broadcast in more than 204 countries.

“It’s a historic moment, and only the first step toward hosting even more prestigious events. Our objective: World Championships!” declared Mike Tamura, president of the national federation. “On behalf of Judo Canada, I would like to thank the Government of Canada, Sport Canada, the Government of Quebec, the city of Montreal and Tourisme Montréal for their invaluable and essential support. This would not have been possible without them.”

Indispensable Montreal Support

Tourisme Montréal is delighted that this international event will be held in its city. “This major announcement is the result of close collaboration with Judo Canada. It demonstrates that we must join forces to provide Montreal with the means to achieve its goal of becoming the premier sport city in Canada. Our team will work with its Montreal partners to ensure that the hundreds of participants, who will arrive from more than 60 countries, are provided with a memorable stay in our city. The hosting of this type of competition is a golden opportunity for Montreal to showcase its savoir-faire. It will provide our city with excellent international exposure,” noted Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.

The Grand Prix was created by the IJF in 2009. It is the highest-level event on the Judo World Tour, which also includes four Grand Slams, a masters’ tournament and an open continental tournament. The Montreal Grand Prix is the sixth to be awarded to the Americas, after Miami (2013), Havana (2014 and 2016) and Cancun (2017 and 2018).

2019 Grand Prix season:

  • January 25 to 27, 2019 (to be confirmed): city to be determined, Morocco
  • March 29 to 31, 2019: Tbilisi, Georgia
  • April 5 to 7, 2019: Antalya, Turkey
  • May 10 to 12, 2019: Baku, Azerbaijan
  • May 24 to 26, 2019: Hohhot, China
  • July 5 to 7, 2019: Montreal, Canada
  • July 12 to 14, 2019: Budapest, Hungary
  • July 26 to 28, 2019: Zagreb, Croatia


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

Montréal, 28 juillet 2018 – Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard won the bronze medal at the Zagreb Grand Prix, in Croatia. She had an almost perfect day with a record of 4 wins and 1 loss on Saturday.

Beauchemin-Pinard wins bronze in Croatia.

“I fought really well in most of my fights, except the one I lost, where my game plan was not quite on point,” commented Beauchemin-Pinard.

In action in the -63 kg category, the Quebec judoka inflicted ippons to her first two opponents, the American Hannah Martin and the Austrian Magdalena Krssakova. She then lost against Slovene Andreja Leski by waza-ari in the third round, which led her to the repechage where she defeated Kiyomi Watanabe, of the Philippines.

“In the fight I lost, I had trouble finding openings to project her. I made the same attack as in the bronze medal final, but my opponent countered me. I am happy, however, in the sense that I didn’t lose because she projected me, but because of an error that I made.”

In the bronze medal final, Beauchemin-Pinard took just over a minute to score an ippon, leaving her opponent, Germany’s Martyna Trajdos, in fifth place.

“My other fights all went well. I have done some great techniques and I can say that there is improvement in each of my competitions, even if there are still things to work on,” said Beauchemin-Pinard, whose main goal is to do well at the next World Championships.

“I think that what I still have to work on is to find openings in the fights where I face smaller people, who are my size. I don’t have any difficulty to do it against the taller judokas.”

In the -70 kg category, Kelita Zupancic was eliminated after her second fight, while Emily Burt was eliminated in the first round. Stéfanie Tremblay (-63 kg) also lost her first bout of the day.

On the men’s side, Arthur Margelidon made the best Canadian performance, finishing with a seventh place. In action in the -73 kg category, he won his first two bouts, beating Jordanian Eyal Salman Younis and Russian Georgii Elbakiev.

Margelidon’s victories were however followed by two defeats in a row, first against Israel’s Tohar Butbul in the third round, then against Sweden’s Tommy Macias in repechage.

In the same category, Antoine Bouchard lost his first fight. Étienne Briand (-81 kg) had a record of 1 victory and 1 loss.

Virginia Nemeth wins bronze in Germany

Alberta judoka Virginia Nemeth was Canada’s only medalist on the opening day of the Junior European Cup presented in Berlin, Germany.

Nemeth defeated by ippon Russian Ekaterina Dolgikh in the final for third place of the -48 kg category.

In the preliminary rounds, Nemeth won her bouts against Britain’s Amy Platten and France’s Mélanie Vieu. The Albertan had her only loss of the day in the semifinals against Galiya Tynbayeva, of Kazakhstan.

“I was a lot calmer than in my last competitions. I was able to control the pace and stick to the plan, but I think I could have done better. I just had one little moment where I made a mistake in the semifinals, but it’s definitely something that I can work on,” said Nemeth.

In the -52 kg category, Taeya Koliaska placed in 9th position. Her day ended in repechage, where Belgian Amber Ryheul defeated her by ippon. In the preliminary rounds, the Albertan had 2 victories and 1 loss.

Fighting in the -73 kg category, Sava Antic won against Austria’s Gabriel Bretschneider and Britain’s Oliver Nash in the first two rounds before losing to Brazil’s Jeferson Santos Junior in the third round and Yannick Van Der Kolk, of the Netherlands, in repechage.

For his part, Daniel Chosack-Barkay (-73 kg) eliminated alternately German Rokuya Lehnert and Kazakh Kuan Barys, but lost his third fight against the Australian Uros Nikolic.

Joel Demaere (-60 kg) and Julien Frascadore (-66 kg) each made one victory. Demaere had two defeats while Frascadore lost only once.

Marie Besson (-52 kg) and Camélia Pitsilis (-57 kg) both had two defeats while Mitchell Markwat lost his first and only fight in the -66 kg category.

The Zagreb Grand Prix and the Junior European Cup in Berlin will both continue on Sunday.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
Information: 514-990-0966 | 1-866-990-0966



Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operating Officer
(514) 668-6279
[email protected]

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