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Canada’s Kelita Zupancic wins judo gold at Baku Grand Slam

Kelita Zupancic (judo) is photograhed in 2011 ahead of the 2012 Olympics

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Canada's Kelita Zupancic won a gold medal in the women's under-70 kg event at the Baku Grand Slam judo tournament.

Zupancic, from Whitby, Ont., defeated Germany's Laura Vargas Koch by ippon, or a full point, 1:13 into the gold-medal bout.

"I felt good when I woke up this morning and it really showed on the tatami," Zupancic said. "I just did what I've been doing all year long, and it definitely paid off."

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The win moved Zupancic to the top of the standings in her weight class after she began the year back in 15th place overall.

"It's really a cool feeling being in first, it's incredible," she said. "I've been working so hard to get to this level, and now I'm going to try even harder to stay. I don't feel any kind of pressure in particular, I'm just going to focus on the formula that got me here."

In the under-78 kg division, Catherine Roberge of Charlesbourg, Que., beat Russian Alena Kachorovskaya to win a bronze medal. Montreal's Amy Cotton lost her bronze-medal match against Croatia's Ivana Maranic.

In men's action, Olympic bronze medallist Antoine Valois-Fortier of Quebec City lost his first match to local favourite Rustam Alimli in the 81 kg event.

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