On Friday, judoka Christa Deguchi reached the third step of the podium at the Grand Slam in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Deguchi, who became Canada’s first world champion in 2019, stepped onto her first podium since the start of the pandemic. After losing in the semifinal, the Canadian defeated Serbia’s Marica Perisic by waza-ari to clinch the -57 kg bronze. Deguchi was joined on the podium by Kosovo’s Nora Gjakova who won gold, and Eteri Liparteliani from Georgia who came away with the silver.
This is the first Grand Slam for Deguchi in over a year. Her last competition was in Paris in February 2020.
— Judo Canada (@JudoCanada) March 26, 2021
Deguchi is currently ranked third in the world, and has only represented Canada since 2017, having represented Japan before.
To qualify for Tokyo 2020, Deguchi will eventually have to fight against her teammate Jessica Klimkait since each country is only allowed to send one athlete per weight class.