Ema Tesanovic and Ian Ryder Receive the Giant Ford Canadian Circuit Bursaries

Montreal, September 17, 2019 – For a second year in a row, two judokas have been awarded a Giant Ford Canadian Circuit bursary. This year’s winners were Ema Tesanovic (-48 kg, AB) and Ian Ryder (-100 kg, BC) with 297 and 262 points respectively. They were both comfortably ahead on their respective rankings, generated with points from the Eastern Canadian Championships until the Canada Cup.

While the circuit and accompanying bursaries are fairly new in Canada, the program has already proven its value: last year’s winners, Megan Hanks and Shady El Nahas, both represented Canada on the international stage last season, with El Nahas winning several medals, one of which was a bronze medal at the Montreal Grand Prix last July. The program has been renewed for the 2019-2020 season. The first tournament of the circuit will be the Eastern Canadian Championships, held in October.

“When we launched the project, with financial support from Sherwood Ford, our goal was to stimulate Canadian judo and support the next generation,” said Nicolas Gill, CEO and High Performance Director of Judo Canada. “We are more than happy with the 2018-2019 results: not only two up-and-coming athletes were awarded the title, but we also see the provinces stepping up, like Manitoba that launched a new tournament to hopefully add it on the circuit soon. We couldn’t ask for more! We are truly privileged, and without the passion and support from Mark Hicks and Sherwood Ford, none of this would have happened.”

The full ranking is available on: https://www.judocanada.org/ranking-the-giant-sherwood-ford-canadian-circuit/.

Ema Tesanovic and Ian Ryder

How does it work?
The top male and female performer will each receive a $2,500 bursary. In case of a tie, the bursary will be split evenly between the athletes. For this edition, points will be counted from the Eastern Canadian Championships 2019 to the Canada Cup 2020. The points cumulated for this program will have no impact on the carding and selection of national teams.

Point System
Points will be awarded as illustrated in this chart:









50 bonus points will be awarded to an athlete who competes in 7 different competitions of the circuit (Ex: Qc Open Sr and JR is only 1 competition).
50 bonus points will be awarded to an athlete who wins 8 medals during the circuit.
75 bonus points will be awarded to an athlete who wins 9 or more medals during the circuit.

A minimum of 2 wins is required to get the full points in an event. 1 win only allows 50% of the points. Point cumulated in any weight class will count, making it possible to change weight classes during the tour. However, the weight classes are limited to the IJF Senior weight classes. There are no limits of events in which an athlete can compete to cumulate points.


Written by Sarah Mailhot for Judo Canada

OCTOBER 5th 2019



9h00 to 10h30- u18, u21 and senior- Belt Green and +

10h30 to 12h00 – u12, u14 & u16- Orange Belt and +

13h30 to 15h00- u18, u21 and senior- Green Belt and +

Location: INS-Québec- National Center

Some results:

2019 Senior World Champion – Tokyo

3rd World Championships Senior 2018- Azerbaijan

Several times Grand Slam Champion

2 x Panamerican champion



Montreal, September 11, 2019 – 316 days before the opening of the Tokyo Olympic Games, Judo Canada introduces their team of coaches who will bring the Canadian team to new heights in 2020. Sasha Mehmedovic will take the lead alongside Nicolas Gill in the last months of the Olympic preparation.

This change occurs after the departure of the men’s senior national team coach Michel Almeida. Native from Portugal, he decided to go back to Europe to take on new projects after nearly four years with the Canadian federation. The recent World Championships were his last mandate with the team.

Sasha Mehmedovic, who was already the women’s senior national team coach, will take on the new role for next season. Already part of the coaching staff of Judo Canada since 2013, Mehmedovic, a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, is ready to rise to the challenge as the coach of the men’s and women’s teams.

“We have full confidence in his ability to manage and supervise both teams’ programs,” commented Nicolas Gill, CEO and high performance director of Judo Canada. “It’ll be our duty to orchestrate the trips and training camps in the next few months to make sure his workload isn’t overwhelming.”

For the man behind Judo Canada, his involvement alongside Mehmedovic is an extension of his high-performance duties. “I’ve always been there to support the national team program. I’ll be a little more present in the next months.”

Priority to the Olympic Preparation

To ensure the best possible transition, Judo Canada decided to bet on the Olympic preparation instead of initiating a hiring process to replace Almeida. By making the most of the internal strength of the team, the federation will make sure to provide Mehmedovic with all the support he needs in all the athlete development projects.

“We didn’t think it was a good idea to bring a new member in the team so close to the Games. Also, after Tokyo, we will perform a complete review of all our programs, including the coaching structure,” said Gill. “We decided we would be able to meet our needs with the current team, and that’s the safest option during the Olympic preparation of our athletes.”

Besides, all the athletes coached by Almeida have worked with the different Judo Canada coaches at some point. On top of Nicolas Gill, Jean-Pierre Cantin (Junior/U23 national coach) and Janusz Pawlowski (assistant national coach) will join forces to solidify the structure around Sasha Mehmedovic.

At the moment, the designated staff for the Tokyo Olympic Games is Sasha Mehmedovic, coach, Nicolas Gill, team leader and coach, and Tiffany Hunting, head therapist. The sparring partners will be selected at a later date.

Canadian Team to Watch

The judokas representing Canada stood out at the international level during the last season, notably with Christa Deguchi’s world title and Antoine Valois-Fortier’s bronze medal at the last World Championships. These results show that Judo Canada is on the path to success. Less than a year before the Tokyo Olympics, 13 athletes in 9 weight categories meet the Olympic standards.

“There are still some internal duels to figure out. Out of these 13 athletes, 3 or 4 are on the low end of the range. A small group of athletes is enjoying their rest after Worlds, while another one is getting ready to compete again to solidify their world ranking and guarantee their Olympic qualification. Our role is to support them and adjust their planning to make sure they have everything they need to perform,” added Nicolas Gill.

The Olympic selection process will end on May 24, 2020.


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

Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operating Officer
(514) 668-6279

As part as the development framework of Canadian judo, Judo Canada will supply 50 tatami to help with the creation of a new judo club.

Interested ?

This loan system is for anyone wishing to open a new judo club. The new club should meet the criteria identified in the program.

Click on the image for more information


Montreal, September 9, 2019 – The Judo Kata World Championships were held in Chungju, in South Korea, on September 4-5. 4 teams were representing Canada.

Shane Rooney and Bailey Hu were the Canadians with the best result, having placed 4th in Katame No Kata with a total score of 392 in the final. Teams from Japan, France and Italy were on the podium, with respective scores of 431, 409.5 and 403.5.

Rooney and Hu have been competing together for two years, and their performance at Worlds was their best performance ever. “We had a good result, given that we only trained this form of kata (Katame No Kata) for one year,” said Rooney. “We were hoping to get on the podium, and going on, it will continue to be our goal.”

The pair will keep on working with their coaches to win medals in their next tournaments. In addition to several meets in Canada, they are planning to compete at the Marcel Clause, in Belgium, in March 2020, as well at the Pan American Championships, and the next World Championships, held in Poland.

Also competing on day 1 in Chungju were Aiko Lachaine and Danielle Ferland, who were in 9th place of their group with a score of 361.5 in Ju No Kata. On day 2, Gord Okamura and Kelly Palmer, long-time partners who announced earlier this year that this would be their last year competing together, barely missed the final, placing 4th in their group with a score of 501 in Kime No Kata. Allyn Takahashi and Rajeev Venugopal, competing in Goshin Jutsu, scored 494.5 points and were in 6th place in their group.

Visit www.ijf.org for full results of the competition.


Written by Sarah Mailhot for Judo Canada

Benjamin, Keagan and Danil

Montreal, September 7, 2019 – Canada concluded the Pan American Open with three medals on Saturday, one silver and two bronzes, in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic.

In -90 kg, Benjamin Kendrick was in the gold medal match, but was defeated by Dominican Robert Florentino. Earlier, in the semifinal, Kendrick defeated his teammate Danil Neyolov, who ended with a bronze medal. Keagan Young (-81 kg) also won a bronze medal.

“This tournament was a preparation for the Junior World Championships held in Marrakech on October 16-19. We were coming here for the experience, and we can say, ‘mission accomplished’. We are happy with how the athletes performed,” commented coach Jean-Pierre Cantin, adding that Ontarians Kendrick and Young are still juniors.

Before reaching the finale in -90 kg, Benjamin Kendrick had defeated Dominican Marcos Martes before facing Neyolov.

“It was a finale with two left-handed athletes, and it was hard for Benjamin. The other one was dominating and threw him for an ippon,” said the coach.

Neyolov defeated his opponent in the first round, Dominican Franklin Guzman, by ippon.

Keagan Young had a good day in -81 kg. He won his first fight of the day by ippon against Dominican Oscar Santana before eliminating American Alex Jacobson in the second round, also by ippon.

In the semifinal, Young was defeated by Venezuelan Noel Pena, sending him into the bronze-medal contest against American Grant Johnson.

“His loss in the semifinal was caused by penalties for non-combativity, and the last one was pretty questionable. However, in the bronze-medal match, he dominated his opponent by ippon. He made some mistakes here, but he’ll be ready for the World Championships,” concluded coach Cantin.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

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

Harris, Frascadore and Nemeth

Montreal, September 6, 2019 – Three Canadian judokas were on the podium on Friday at the Pan American Open in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. Julien Frascadore won the gold medal in -66 kg, while Virginia Nemeth and Isabelle Harris each won a bronze in their respective categories.

Frascadore won the finale against Venezuelan Ricardo Valderrama to earn the gold medal. In his opinion, his preparation and state of mind made all the difference in his victory by waza-ari in overtime. “It was the most difficult fight today, but I had a good plan, and I really wanted to win,” he commented.

Julien Frascadore scored four victories in just as many fights on Friday. Before facing Valderrama in a close fight, the Canadian defeated Dominican Wilson Medina, Haitian Gérard Cadet and Dominican Victor Pena, all three by ippon.

“It went well. I was aiming for gold, and everything went according to plan,” said Frascadore, who added he felt ready for the Junior World Championships in October. “I’ll come back home and work on a few technical details. It’s very motivating to win gold before Worlds, and it confirms that I’ll be ready.”

Gabriel Juteau almost ended the day with a medal around his neck in -73 kg. He started off with two victories: one by ippon against Haitian Roudly Rosalberty, followed by another one against Dominican Darvi Lorenzo. After being defeated by ippon by the eventual gold medallist, Venezuelan Sergio Mattey, Gabriel Juteau eliminated Dominican Antonio Tornal to earn a spot in one of the bronze-medal contests. However, the 22-year-old lost against Mexican Gilberto Cardoso, keeping him off the podium.

Sava Antic didn’t make the weight at the weigh-in and couldn’t compete in this category.

Nemeth and Harris Win Bronze

Canadian girls also had a lot of success in Santo Domingo. Virginia Nemeth was the first one to stand out with a bronze medal in the -48 kg category. She finished on a high note with a victory against Guatemalan Jacqueline Solis to earn her spot on the third step of the podium.

The Canadian won against Dominican Liliana Guerrero by ippon at the beginning of the day, but was then defeated by Priscilla Moran, from Mauritius. In repechage, she scored another victory, this time against American Jenna Schurr. “We had a good training camp this summer and it really helped our preparation for this competition,” commented Nemeth. “It’s a step in the right direction! I’m happy, but there’s always room for improvement, and there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Isabelle Harris faced Sandrine Billiet, from Cape Verde, for her fourth bout of the day, during which she won by ippon to earn a bronze medal. The Canadian had ups and down on Friday: she won by ippon against Spanish Vlada Kopnyayeva in the first round, but was defeated by ippon by Cameroonian Hélène Wezeu Dombeu in the following round. Her defeat sent her into repechage, where Harris faced Dominican Katherine Carjaval Antigua, whom she defeated by ippon to reach the bronze-medal fight.

“I won my first fight, but I wasn’t satisfied with my performance. In the second round I did better, but it wasn’t enough. I was able to bounce back in repechage and end on a high note,” explained Harris.

Finally, Cheyenne Fiandor narrowly missed the podium in -57 kg. She lost against Columbian Keyla Vasquez in the bronze-medal bout. Fiandor was defeated in the first round by Dominican Ana Rosa, but won by ippon in repechage against Dominican Marialy Marte.

The Santo Domingo Pan American Open will continue on Saturday with three Canadian athletes: Keagan Young (-81 kg), Benjamin Kendrick (-90 kg), and Danil Neyolov (-90 kg).


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada


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

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