Sabau Gabriela / International Judo Federation
Sabau Gabriela / International Judo Federation

Deguchi continues winning streak at the Ulaanbaatar Judo Grand Slam in a Canadian showdown

Reigning world champ, Christa Deguchi continued her world judo domination on Friday at the Judo Grand Slam in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, capturing gold in the women’s 57kg category in an all-Canadian final. Deguchi faced to Jessica Klimkait, bronze medalist at the most recent World Championships.

Deguchi, currently ranked first in the world, prevailed against Klimkait (ranked fourth). The fight’s outcome was determined by a series of shidos (or penalties) received by Klimkait. Klimkait had two shidos on her record 75 seconds into the fight and received a third shido after 2 minutes 17 seconds which ended the fight.

Deguchi started the tournament with a first-round bye before winning her next bout against South Korea’s Eunsong Park. In the quarter-finals, she faced Altantsetseg Batsukh of the United Arab Emirates, a match the Canadian won by landing two waza-aris in just over ten seconds. She beat Kseniia Galitskaia, an international athlete who eventually won a bronze medal, by ippon after 3 minutes 52 seconds of combat in the semi-finals.

Klimkait also had a first-round bye, and got the better of Latvian Anastasija Sokirjanska by landing two waza-aris in a bout lasting one minute 19 seconds. She then defeated Britain’s Nekoda Smythe-Davis in the quarter-finals, another short-lived duel (1:38) that ended in ippon. She reached the final by beating South Korean Mimi Huh, the other bronze medalist of the tournament, by ippon.

The last clash between Deguchi and Klimkait dates back to the final of the Tel Aviv Grand Slam last February where Klimkait won the duel. This is a seventh career Grand Slam gold medal for Deguchi. The silver medal continues Klimkait’s streak of back-to-back podiums, having now won a medal in her last 14 tournaments.

The Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam continues until Sunday as 2022 Worlds silver medalist Kyle Reyes will be in action at under 100kg as will Luis Krieber-Gagnon in the men’s 90kg category .