This article was originally published on the Judo Canada website.
The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Judo Canada announced the athletes nominated to represent Team Canada at the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games from July 10 to 26.
The fourteen athletes were selected based on their Canadian ranking by category. This 2015 Pan American squad is a strong group, as 12 of the 14 categories feature the top-ranked athlete.
On the women’s side, two medallists from Guadalajara 2011 will be back for the Games in Toronto: -63kg bronze medallist Stéfanie Tremblay and her colleague, veteran and -78kg silver medallist , Catherine Roberge. Both will be aiming for the podium once again in 2015.
For Kelita Zupancic in the-70kg category, the Pan American Games will be an opportunity to repeat her golden performance from last April at the Pan American Championships. Number 4 in the world, only one Pan American competitor is ahead of her in the rankings, Yuli Alvear, of Colombia.
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard, 2013 silver medallist and 2014 bronze medallist at the World Junior Championships, will be Canada’s representative at –57kg. Another junior world medallist joins her on the team, Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi, who won bronze in 2013 at -78kg, but will be competing in the higher +78kg category in Toronto. Erin Morgan(-48kg) and Ecaterina Guica (-52 kg) will complete the women’s squad in Toronto.
On the men’s side, Canada’s judokas will have among them the 2015 Pan American Champion, Antoine Bouchard (-66kg). Arthur Margelidon of Montreal hopes to improve on his bronze medal performance last month at the Pan American Championships in the -73kg category.
Olympian Sergio Pessoa (-60kg), brothers Zachary Burt (-81kg) and Jonah Burt (-90kg),Marc Deschênes (-100kg) and Martin Rygielski (+100kg) will also be wearing the red and white on the TORONTO 2015 tatamis.
Judo Canada is aiming for a total of eight medals at these Pan American Games, including two gold. This would be an exact copy of the medals won at the Pan American Championships held in Edmonton in April. In Toronto, with all the advantages competing at home bring, the Canadian judo team expects a strong performance.
The judo competition will take place July 11-14 and include the following categories: men’s -60kg, -66kg, -73kg, -81kg, -90kg, -100kg, +100kg; women’s -48kg, -52kg, -57kg, -63kg, -70kg, -78kg, +78kg.
Canada will field the largest team in its Pan American Games history with more than 700 athletes expected to be named to the Team at the Games in Toronto. With TORONTO 2015 providing a “home Games” experience, as well as a number of qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, these Games will offer a tremendous experience for Canada’s high performance athletes.