Canada wins four medals at the Judo Grand Prix in Zagreb
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.