GOLD for KELITA ZUPANZIC - Oberwart European Open Women

Sunday February 17th, 2013

Zupancic wins gold


Montréal, February 17, 2013 – Ontarian Kelita Zupancic took home top honours in the under 70 kg category, Sunday, at the Oberwart Continental Open, in Austria. Meanwhile, in Hungary, Antoine Valois-Fortier also made his way onto the podium, winning the bronze medal in the under 81 kg class, in Budapest.


After narrowly missing gold last week at the Paris Grand Slam, Kelita Zupancic put together another fine performance in Oberwart. “Like last week, I was feeling very confident today. I’ve been riding a wave of momentum throughout this European tour,” the delighted 22-year-old judoka explained. “The training camp in Paris took its toll on me a bit today (Sunday), but I was able to stay positive and give my all.”


The Canadian, seventh in the world in her division, was a force to be reckoned with in each of her four matches.


Zupancic began her day with a victory over the Russian Irina Gazieva (74th) by ippon. Her next two opponents, Japanese Yoko Ono (68th) and Frenchwoman Valériane Fichot fell in likewise fashion. “I knew I was ready for every battle. I just wanted to stay focused, take it one bout at a time and stay in my zone. It went perfectly!”


In the final, she defeated the Korean Kim Seong Yeon, 24th ranked judoka in the world. I followed my strategy to a tee, and things really fell into place for me. As long as I stuck with my technical approach, I knew she wouldn’t be able to throw me to ground, and that’s exactly how it unfolded. I managed to score a point against her, and it ended up being enough for the win.”


The top seed in the tourney, Zupancic knew better than to take her opponents lightly. “I knew there were many good athletes in the competition, as well as opponents I’d never faced. I was ready,” the judoka, who’s looking to medal in a third straight tournament, went on to elaborate.





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