06/27/2012 12:29 EDT | Updated 08/27/2012 05:12 EDT

8 judo athletes join Canadian Olympic team

Canada’s Olympic team grew by eight athletes on Wednesday as the members of the judo squad were announced.

Headed to London are Joliane Melançon of Laval, Que. (women’s 57 kg weight class), Kelita Zupancic of Whitby, Ont, (women’s 70 kg), Amy Cotton of Antigonish, N.S. (women’s 78 kg), Sergio Pessoa of Brossard, Que. (men’s 60 kg), Montreal’s Sasha Mehmedovic (men’s 66 kg), Nick Tritton of Guelph, Ont. (men’s 73 kg), Antoine Valois-Fortier of Vanier, Que. (men’s 81 kg) and Alexandre Emond of Laval, Que. (men’s 90kg).

“Judo is something I love to do because it’s exciting, but it’s also something that helps me focus — not just in sport, but in life,” Valois-Fortier, a first-time Olympian, said in a press release. “I’ve gone from the overly energetic kid who couldn’t sit still to a nominee to the Canadian Olympic team. I can’t wait to get to London and take my energy to a whole new level, against the best in the world.”

Joining Valois-Fortier in making their Olympic debuts are Emond, Melancon, Pessoa and Zupancic.

Cotton reached the Olympic quarter-finals in 2004, then missed the 2008 Games with a broken foot.

Mehmedovic advanced to the quarter-finals in 2008 in Beijing, where Tritton finished 21st.

The Olympic judo matches begin on July 28 — the first full day of events in London.

125 athletes have now been nominated to the Canadian Olympic Committee for inclusion in the London Games in the sports of badminton, canoe-kayak, cycling, diving, judo, modern pentathlon, sailing, soccer, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, track and field and triathlon