Whitby judokan loses Grand Slam event final in Mongolia to fellow Canadian

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Published June 26, 2023 at 1:38 pm

Photo Judo Canada

Whitby’s Jessica Klimkait came out on the short end of an all-Canadian Grand Slam judo final in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia Friday to reigning world champion Christa Deguchi.

Deguchi clinched the gold medal in Ulaanbaatar by forcing Klimkait, who received two penalties in the first 75 seconds of the bout, to make errors. A third penalty gave Deguchi the win.

The silver medal was the 14th straight tournament medal for Klimkait, the 2021 World Champion. The Canadians last fought in the big final of the Tel Aviv under-57 kg Grand Slam in February, with Klimkait emerging as the victor.

Deguchi, who became the first Canadian to reach the medal podium at the world judo championships in 2018, is now a two-time champion with her first Grand Slam gold medal since November 2022 in Azerbaijan. Deguchi won her first world title in 2019 and followed that with her second world championship last month in Qatar.

Klimkait earned bronze at those Worlds, her third straight World Championship medal.

Deguchi, who missed out on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after finishing behind Klimkait in qualifying, won gold last summer at the Commonwealth Games. She also won at the Croatia Grand Prix and Baku Grand Slam.

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