Montreal, August 7, 2017 (Sportcom) – Canada will be well represented at the fifth edition of the Cadet World Championships, being held in Santiago, Chile from August 9 to 13. The 15 members of Canada’s team were selected following two years of international competition.
Coach Jean-Pierre Cantin, who heads the development program for cadet-aged athletes, believes the team is in a good position to bring home several medals.
“We expect to see very good results. I took over the team two years ago, just before the cadet world championships. We weren’t well-prepared and our overall results didn’t meet my expectations. This time, we’ve had two years to prepare and we’ve implemented a system for helping our athletes gain experience. We’ll be in our element this time around,” he explained.
At the Cadet Pan-American Championships, Canada placed second in the rankings, behind Brazil. “We performed very well and proved that we have a good, cohesive team,” stated Cantin.
For those heading to Chile this week, the Cadet World Championships are an important milestone. It will be the biggest competition of their young careers to date. Many of the athletes will be testing their mettle against the world’s best for the first time.
“I expect that our athletes may feel a little daunted when the Japanese team shows up. For some of them, it will be their first encounter with that team. But once they’re out on the tatamis, they’ll realize that they’re just judokas, like everyone else. It will provide them with invaluable experience,” noted Cantin.
Léa Roy (U48 kg), of the Asbestos-Danville Judo Club, is one of the young members of the Canadian cadet delegation. Like her teammates, she worked very hard over the summer to qualify for her first-ever world championships.
“I’m very excited. I’m really proud of myself and happy about everything that’s happening. And of course, I’d love to win the world championship in my category!” exclaimed the 16-year-old.
Alicia Fiandor (U63 kg) will also be sporting Canada’s colours in Chile. “I’m the first member of my club to qualify for the world championships. It’s a great personal accomplishment. I expect the competition to be at a very high level, but I’m ready. I’ve been competing on the world circuit for two years now,” declared the representative of the Nanaimo Judo Club in British Columbia.
Alexandre Arencibia (U81 kg) believes that although the World Championships are a major tournament, they must be treated like any other competition. “It will be a great experience but it’s not causing me extra stress. I imagine it will be big and the competitors will be of high calibre, but that’s not the way to look at it,” claimed the Québécois who, like many of his teammates, dreams of one day becoming an Olympic champion.
Kaegan Young (U66 kg) agrees. Although it will be his biggest competition to date, he sees it as simply one tournament amongst many others. He is trying to avoid putting extra pressure on himself before hitting the mats.
“I feel really good and happy. I’m going to try to win a medal. Of course, I’d like it to be gold, but I’d be satisfied with any colour,” said Young.
The Cadet World Championships kick off Wednesday and will wrap up with the team events on Sunday.
Canada’s national team is composed of:
U48 kg: Léa Roy
U52 kg: Kiera Westlake
U52 kg: Eibhleann Alexander
U57 kg: Rachel Krapman
U63 kg: Sierra Tanner
U63 kg: Alicia Fiandor
+70 kg: Annabelle Darlow
U55 kg: Aidos Sapenov
U60 kg: Joel Demaere
U60 kg: Dontea De Jesus
U66 kg: Kaegan Young
U73 kg: Sava Antic
U81 kg: Alexandre Arencibia
U90 kg: Ian Ryder
U90 kg: Benjamin Kendrick