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Christa Deguchi back on top of the podium

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Montreal, March 29th, 2024 – After capturing bronze a week ago at the Tbilisi Grand Slam in Georgia, Christa Deguchi made her return to the podium on Friday, this time with a gold medal around her neck in the under-57 kg category at the Antalya Grand Slam in Turkey.

Photo IJF
Jessica Lima, Christa Deguchi, Maysa Pardayeva and Faiza Mokdar

In the final clash of the day, Deguchi faced off against Brazil’s Jessica Lima. The duel went into overtime, with both finalists having received two penalties. The Canadian was the first to go on the offensive and she secured the win.

This is her second Grand Slam victory in 2024 and the tenth of her career.

“ Christa and the Brazilian know each other very well, having played against each other last week. Christa remained patient to hold her own in overtime. She’s having a great season, and her rivalry with Jessica Klimkait brings out the best in both of them, which is very positive,” stated Canadian coach Antoine Valois-Fortier.”

Deguchi also fought a very long bout to begin the day against Austria’s Laura Kallinger, who finally received a third penalty a minute into overtime.

The Canadian then defeated Guinea’s Mariana Esteves, South Korea’s Juhee Kim and France’s Faiza Mokdar to book her place in the final.

“ It went really well in the preliminary round, even if the first bout was longer than she would have liked. She largely dominated her opponent, so the scoreboard doesn’t really reflect how the fight played out. She was convincing afterwards to reach the final”, added the coach.

Last week’s silver medallist, Jessica Klimkait, did not take part in the Antalya Grand Slam.

Kelly Deguchi was in action in the under-52 kg category. After a tougher outing last week in Tbilisi, the Albertan came back strong to finish seventh in her category, the same ranking she achieved in Baku in February.

The Canadian enjoyed a first-round bye before defeating Argentina’s Sofia Fiora in the next round. She followed this up with another victory over Mexico’s Paulina Martinez.

“Kelly dominated her first opponent, eventually beating her on penalties, and was solid on the floor against the Mexican to score another win. It was a great start to the day for her,” said Valois-Fortier.

The 25-year-old’s quest for gold came to a halt in the quarter-finals, however, when she was defeated by eventual gold medallist Uta Abe of Japan.

Deguchi suffered a second defeat in the repechage, losing to Uzbek Sita Kadamboeva after receiving three penalties.

“I think Uta Abe is, pound for pound, the best judoka in the world in any category. It was a tall order. Kelly lost in the repechage afterwards, so maybe she wasn’t active enough in the key moments of the fight, but that’s part of the learning process. She’s off to one of her best starts of the year, and she’s on a roll,” concluded the Canadian head coach.

Finally, Julien Frascadore (-66 kg) won his first duel of the day against Latvian Anthony De Angelis before falling to international neutral athlete Rufat Aleskerov in the next round.

Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-63 kg) will be in action on Saturday in Antalya, as will Arthur Margelidon (-73 kg) and François Gauthier-Drapeau (-81 kg).

-30-

Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operating Officer
Judo Canada
(514) 668-6279
p.esparbes@judocanada.org

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