Locals look to 'Peg a few medals

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:15 AM ET

Francoise Nguele of Ottawa will defend her title at the Canadian senior judo championships this weekend.

The 25-year-old native of Cameroon captured the women's under-57 kg class during last year's competition in St. John's and will try for a second straight title tomorrow in Winnipeg.

She's there with two other Ottawa women -- Christy Takahashi and Carol Nhan -- who are trying for their first national senior crowns.

Nhan will fight in the under-52 kg category and Takahashi will compete in the under-70 kg class.

Battling in a major judo competition is nothing new for Nguele.

She competed at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney for Cameroon, and also represented her native country at the Francophone Games in Ottawa-Hull five years ago, but stayed in Canada and now has permanent residency.

Her coach, June Takahashi, hopes that Nguele will acquire Canadian citizenship, which she believes would make it easier for Nguele to qualify for the national team and the Olympics in Beijing in 2008.

"Francoise is exceptionally strong and she's very quick," said June Takahashi, who will be in Winnipeg this weekend.

Nguele won the Ontario championship during a tournament at Brampton in March.

Christy Takahashi, who competes on Sunday, finished third in the under-70 kg class at the Ontario championships.

Tony Walby of Ottawa won the provincial title in the men's 95-kg and over category but can't attend the national tournament due to previous commitments.


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