Montreal, September 22, 2018 – Christa Deguchi became the first female Canadian judoka to win a medal at a World Championship. She won the bronze medal in the -57 kg category on Saturday in Baku, in Azerbaidjan, after winning by ippon against German Theresa Stoll.
“It’s a big day for me, especially since these are my first Worlds! I’m proud to be a pioneer. Theresa threw me and scored a waza-ari, but I wanted that bronze medal. I still had energy, so I fought more aggressively for Canada and for myself. My next goal is to win the Osaka Grand Slam (in November), but my biggest dream is to win at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”
She lost by waza-ari in the semi-final against Japanese Tsukasa Yoshida, who went on to win the World Champion title. Earlier in the tournament, she defeated North Korean Ri-hyo Sun, Romanian Corina Stefan, and Kosovar Nora Gjova.
“I was aiming for gold, but I was lacking in skills. I’ll work harder to win it next year. Tsukasa was stronger than me, especially in the golden score. After this defeat, I recovered mentally for the bronze-medal fight,” explained the athlete from Lethbridge.
In 2018, Deguchi won gold medals at the Zagreb and Hohhot Grand Prix, as well as the bronze in Budapest. She also won the Pan American title in her weight category, and the first gold medal in Canadian history at the Paris Grand Slam.
“As an organization, our goal is to bring our athlete to that level. We saw Christa fight for Japan at the international level a few years ago. We believed in her, and when she accepted to represent us, we introduced a plan that went perfectly. She showed us what she could do!” said Nicolas Gill, CEO and High Performance Director for Judo Canada.
Fighting in the same category, Jessica Klimkait, from Whitby, scored 2 victories and 1 loss. She won against Rafaela Silva, from Brazil, and Sandra Borges, from Cabo Verde, before being defeated by Sumiya Dorjsuren, from Mongolia, who went on to win a bronze medal.
“The tournament is part of the qualification process for Tokyo 2020. Jessica is very strong. She won against the reigning world champion in the first round. For Judo Canada, to have 2 girls performing at such a high level in this category assures us that one of them can be on the podium or close to it in every competition,” added Gill.
British Nekoda Smythe-Davis won the silver medal.
On the men’s side, Antoine Bouchard, from Saguenay, and Arthur Margelidon, from Montreal, were both eliminated after their first in the -73 category. Bouchard lost by waza-ari against Hungarian Miklos Ungvari, and Margelidon was defeated by ippon by Czech Jakub Jecminek.
South Korean An Chang-rim was crowned the World Champion, while Japanese Soichi Hashimoto won the silver medal, and Iranian Mohammad Mohammadi and Azerbaidjani Hidayat Heydarov won the bronze.
On Sunday, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (Saint-Hubert) and Stéfanie Tremblay (Saguenay) will be on the mats in -63 kg, as well as Étienne Briand (Sept-Îles) in -81 kg.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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