Montreal, August 10, 2018 – Canadian judokas Ecaterina Guica and Christa Deguchi stood on the third step of the podium during the Budapest Grand Prix on Friday, while Jessica Klimkait was also fighting for a bronze medal, but placed 5th in Hungary.
For her last fight of the day, Guica (-52 kg), ranked 18th in the world, scored an ippon thanks to a successful arm lock after less than a minute against Israeli Gili Cohen, ranked 12th.
“I’m very happy with my performance. It had been a year since I stood on the podium in a Grand Prix,” said the athlete from La Prairie. “I executed what I had planned with my coaches. I had a different approach to the tournament. I had fun, I was patient, and I felt really strong when I had an opening on the floor.”
Fighting in -57 kg, Deguchi, 8th in the world ranking, consolidated her elite status by scoring an ippon by uchi-gari during her final fight against Japanese Nae Udaka, ranked 36th, who was a double world champion in 2014.
“I made a few small mistakes. I wanted to do better, but I was mentally ready. It was a good fight against her as a preparation for Worlds at the end of September,” said the Nagano-native judoka who represented Japan for a few years, but has been fighting for Canada since October 2017.
Also in -57 kg, Klimkait, ranked 11th, lost her final bout against Hungarian Hedvig Karakas, 15th on the world ranking. The Ontarian was in trouble after a missed attack, and her rival did an arm lock to score an ippon.
“I felt confident, because I know her well, but I should have been more cautious and have had a better judgment. I did my best to get out of her grip. I have to adapt my judo to my opponents’ styles,” noted the judoka from Whitby.
Before their respective final bouts, Guica, Deguchi, and Klimkait followed the same path, winning their first two bouts, losing the quarterfinal, and coming back in repechage.
Guica scored an ippon against Indian Kalpana Devi Thoudam and Italian Odette Giuffrida, but was defeated in the same way by Japanese Natsumi Tsunoda, World vice-champion and ranked 10th in the world. She then eliminated American Angelica Delgado, ranked 11th, by scoring another ippon.
Nobody was able to defeat Tsunoda on Friday, who went on to win the gold medal against Belgian Charline Van Snick. British Chelsie Giles was the other bronze-medal winner.
In the -57 kg category, Deguchi and Klimkait’s bouts were also won by ippon.
Deguchi started by defeating Ivorian Zouleiha Abzetta Dabonne and Serbian Jovana Rogic, before losing against Brazilian Rafaela Silva, ranked 14th. She won her spot in the bronze-medal fights by eliminating German Amelie Stoll.
Klimkait won against Chinese Wen Zhang and Ukrainian Mariia Skora, and lost by shido in overtime against Nae Udaka. She came back after defeating Polish Anna Borowska, ranked 16th in the world.
In the final, Silva got the better of German Theresa Stoll.
On Saturday, many Canadians will be in action in Budapest. Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard and Stéfanie Tremblay will be fighting in -63 kg, while Emily Burt and Kelita Zupancic will be defending their colours in -70 kg. Also representing Canada, Antoine Bouchard and Arthur Margelidon will be fighting in -73 kg, and Étienne Briand in -81 kg.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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