Weekend Roundup: Deguchi claims gold in all-Canadian Grand Slam final
In their first competition since they shared the podium at the world championships, Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkait ended up going head-to-head for gold at the latest stop of the IJF Grand Slam circuit. Meanwhile, Canada’s top 3×3 basketball team are getting their groove back, plus a couple of young phenoms are making their names known in BMX racing and street skateboarding.
Here’s a quick recap of what Team Canada athletes were up to over the weekend.
Judo: Deguchi wins another showdown with Klimkait
Reigning world champion Christa Deguchi returned to the top of the podium on Friday at the Judo Grand Slam in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Currently ranked first in the world in the women’s 57kg category, she defeated fellow Canadian Jessica Klimkait in the final. Deguchi prevailed over the bronze medallist from this year’s world championships when Klimkait accumulated three shidos (penalities). The match ended in just two minutes and 17 seconds.
This was the eighth time that Deguchi and Klimkait have faced off in international competition. Deguchi had won the first six meetings before Klimkait earned a victory in the Tel Aviv Grand Slam final this past February. This is Deguchi’s seventh career Grand Slam title while Klimkait has now reached the podium in 14 straight international events.
3×3 Basketball: Semifinals in FIBA Women’s Series season debut
Canada’s top women’s 3×3 basketball team finished third in their first FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series appearance this season. Katherine Plouffe, Michelle Plouffe, Paige Crozon, and Kacie Bosch lost 21-18 to Spain in their semifinal match on Saturday. It was a tight game that was decided in the last minute as the Spaniards scored a two-point basket with just nine seconds remaining in regulation.
The Canadians had advanced to the semis after defeating Chinese team Sc. Yuanda 20-18 in overtime in their quarterfinal. That came after the Canadians won both of their round robin games on Friday, defeating Azerbaijan squad Neftchi 21-17 and Italy 17-9.
The Canadian quartet won’t be off for long. They’re playing in the next stop of the FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series that starts on Tuesday in Poitiers, France where they are the top-seeded team.
BMX Racing: Two more top-5s for Molly Simpson
Molly Simpson is enjoying a great start to her UCI BMX Racing World Cup season. She finished fifth in both elite women’s races this weekend in Papendal, Netherlands. That followed her pair of fourth-place finishes in the first two World Cup races in Sakarya, Turkey at the beginning of June.
At 20 years old, Simpson was the youngest competitor in the top five in Papendal. She currently sits fifth in the overall World Cup standings for the season.
Road Cycling: National champions crowned
A few familiar names get to call themselves national champions for the next year after the Canadian Road Championships took place in Edmonton. On Friday, Paula Findlay — who is best known for success as a triathlete, including becoming an Olympian — won the elite women’s time trial for the second straight year. The elite men’s time trial also had a repeat champion as Derek Gee took the title just a few weeks after his impressive debut at the Giro d’Italia.
Gee went on to finish fourth in the road race behind Nickolas Zukowsky, who had placed second in the time trial. Alison Jackson can add another accolade to her dream season as she won the women’s road race after being the runner-up last year.
Skateboarding: What a debut for Cordano Russell
At just 18 years old, Cordano Russell was the top Canadian at the World Skate Street Skateboarding Rome. He grabbed the last spot in the eight-man final and went on to finish seventh overall.
That moved him up to 17th in the men’s street world rankings that will determine Olympic qualification for Paris 2024 about a year from now. Ryan Decenzo remains Canada’s top-ranked man in the discipline, holding onto 10th place in the standings despite not advancing from the qualification round in Rome.
Triathlon: Career best for Charles Paquet in home race
Charles Paquet matched his career best result on the prestigious World Triathlon Championship Series. He finished seventh in the sprint distance race held in the friendly environs of Old Montreal. That equaled his placement achieved in Hamburg in September 2021. Paquet was just eight seconds away from the podium, completing the race in 54 minutes and 10 seconds.
Paquet was about half a minute faster than teammate Tyler Mislawchuk, who finished 15th. The top Canadian in the elite women’s race was Dominika Jamnicky in 17th. Unfortunately, the mixed relay scheduled for Sunday had to be cancelled because of poor air quality in Montreal as smog came into the city from forest fires elsewhere in Quebec.