After three days of competition in Zagreb, Canada has come away with four medals.
On Friday, it was an all-Canadian final in the -57 kg class when judokas Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkait faced off against each other.
Both athletes had two penalties with less than a minute to go. With 38 seconds left, Klimkait picked up her third penalty, securing a victory for Deguchi.
This marked the second time the two squared off against each other in a gold medal match this season. In May, Deguchi defeated Klimkait in the finals at the Judo Grand Prix in Hohhot, China.
Deguchi said of her victory: “It was a hard fight, but I was happy to be against each other only in the finale. We proved that Canada was strong in our category! It’s a big win for me, but that’s only the beginning. I’m focusing on World Championships and the Olympic qualification.”
In the second day of competition, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard won Canada’s third medal, with a victory in her bronze medal match against Germany’s Martyna Trajdos in the -63 kg category. It only took Beauchemin-Pinard one minute into the match-up to claim victory when she scored an ippon.
The judoka commented on her technique after her victory: “I think that what I still have to work on is to find openings in the fights where I face smaller people, who are my size. I don’t have any difficulty to do it against the taller judokas.”
On the last day of competition, Kyle Reyes won the silver in the men’s -100 kg field. He faced Russian Niyaz Ilyasov in the finals.
Reyes on his match: “It’s been a while since I have won a medal, so I am happy. It was great to be back on the mat, and it was a very fun day.”
This is his first competition after taking time off over the past few months to heal from a knee injury.
This is the ninth Judo Grand Prix of the year. The next stop is in Budapest from August 10-12, followed by the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan from September 20-27.