Kelita Zupancic

Kelita Zupancic (born May 9, 1990, in Whitby, Ontario) is a judoka from Canada. Zupancic won gold medals for Canada at the 2010, 2013 and 2015 Pan Am judo championships.[1][2]

Kelita Zupancic
Personal information
Born (1990-05-09) May 9, 1990 (age 30)
Whitby, Ontario
ResidenceMontreal, Quebec
Height1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)[1]
Weight70 kg (154 lb) (2012)[1]
Coached byNicolas Gill


Zupancic was born in Whitby which is a town in the Toronto metro area. She is of Slovenian origin. Her father Eddie is a judo coach/trainer.

She is member of the Formokan Judo Club[3] and she has been training at the National Training Centre in Montreal under the watchful eyes of National Coach Nicolas Gill and Hiroshi Namakura. Through some discussion with Hiroshi Namakura, it was felt that the time was right for Zupancic to train in Japan. Hiroshi Namakura contacted Yoshiyuki Matsuoka who is a former Olympic Champion and head coach at a private women's judo club which is sponsored by the company Komatsu Limited. He suggested to Zupancic that she should go to train at the Komatsu club.[4] Zupancic agreed and Hiroshi Namakura arranged the visit.

In January 2010, Zupancic visited the club for nearly one month. She endured very intense training with some of the top Japanese women in the world. Also coaching at Komatsu club is Kazuhiko Tokuno (Japan National Female Coach) and Mayumi Katsura, both former world class competitors. After her visit, Zupancic went on to win medals at a World Cup in Hungary, and a Grand Prix in Germany and then a gold at the 2010 Pan American Judo Championships in El Salvador.

At the Formokan Judo Club's 35th year reunion (2010), Zupancic announced that she has been offered a position on the Komatsu club Judo team. According to Hiroshi Namakura, one foreign judoka is selected per year and Zupancic was recognized. She was offered a one-year contract to train with the team, work for Komatsu club and compete for them at team events. She competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics, losing to eventual gold winner Lucie Décosse in the second round. At the 2014 World Judo Championships, she finished in 5th place. She has been ranked number one to three in the world between 2012 and 2015.

In June 2016, she was named to Canada's Olympic team.[5] At the 2016 Olympics, she beat Esther Stam in the second round, before losing to Haruka Tachimoto, the eventual champion, in the quarterfinals. Because Tachimoto reached the final, Zupancic was entered into the repechage. In the repechage, she lost to Bernadette Graf.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

All three of Zupancic's brothers are hockey players. Anton played for the Sarnia Sting and Oshawa Generals; Ryan played for Sarnia and the Peterborough Petes; and Andrew was a draft pick of the Petes.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Kelita Zupancic Biography". Archived from the original on 2020-04-18. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-04-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Formokan Judo
  4. ^
  5. ^ Hossain, Asif (28 June 2016). "Valois-Fortier headlines eight judokas nominated to Olympic team for Rio 2016". Canadian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 11 July 2016.

External linksEdit