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Kelita Zupancic (L) of Canada challenges Yoriko Kunihara of Japan during their women's under 70 kg semifinal at the IJF Grand Slam judo tournament in Rio de Janeiro June 19, 2011. (Sergio Moraes/Reuters/Sergio Moraes/Reuters)
Kelita Zupancic (L) of Canada challenges Yoriko Kunihara of Japan during their women's under 70 kg semifinal at the IJF Grand Slam judo tournament in Rio de Janeiro June 19, 2011. (Sergio Moraes/Reuters/Sergio Moraes/Reuters)

Canada's Valois-Fortier, Zupancic, Cotton each win gold at judo tournament Add to ...

Canada won three gold medals at the Orenburg European Cup judo tournament Sunday.

Antoine Valois-Fortier, Kelita Zupancic and Amy Cotton each finished first in their divisions.

Valois-Fortier beat Russia’s Yusup-Khadzhi Aksagov in the men’s 81 kilogram final.

The Montreal native said jet lag was a factor during the tournament.

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“I dominated my opponents strategically, not physically,” said Valois-Fortier. “After the long trip, I didn’t have the strength to throw them to ground, so I had to use my smarts to get the job done.

“I had a game plan going into each fight, and I stuck with it. I was especially good with the positioning of my hands, and that helped me the most to beat opponents who were physically stronger than me.”

Zupancic, from Whitby, Ont., took gold in the women’s 70-kg final against Russia’s Irina Gazieva by ippon, while Cotton, from Antigonish, N.S., downed Russian Anastasia Dmitrieva by yuko in the women’s 78-kg final.

All three gold medal winners will represent Canada at the upcoming London Olympics.

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