Christa Deguchi smile on the podium with the gold medal.AP Photo/Hussein Sayed
AP Photo/Hussein Sayed

Deguchi wins second world judo title, shares podium with Klimkait

For the second time in her career, Christa Deguchi is a world champion. And as an extra treat for Canadian fans, she shared the 57kg podium at the World Judo Championships in Doha, Qatar with bronze medallist teammate Jessica Klimkait.

Ranked second in the world, Deguchi rolled through her pool with relative ease. Only her third round bout needed the full four minutes of regulation time. She then defeated Enkhrillen Lkhagvatogoo of Mongolia in her semifinal after scoring two waza-ari.

In the final against Japan’s Haruka Funakubo, Deguchi got a waza-ari on the board just over a minute into the bout. Her opponent only just kept her back off the mat, which was the only thing that kept the match going. Deguchi kept coming strong and made a successful move for ippon, getting her the gold medal with 1:40 left in the period.

Deguchi previously won the world title in 2019, making her Canada’s first ever world champion in judo. That came a year after she captured bronze to become the first Canadian woman to win a world championship medal in judo.

As for Klimkait, she stands on the world championship podium for the third straight year. She had followed Deguchi’s victory by claiming her own world title in 2021 and then added a bronze in 2022. In between, she became the first Canadian female judoka to win an Olympic medal, earning a bronze at Tokyo 2020.

Klimkait took just 49 seconds to win her bronze medal bout in Doha. She rolled her opponent, Hasret Bozkurt of Turkey, onto the tatami to get the waza-ari and then held her down long enough to earn a second waza-ari, which ended the bout. Klimkait had to go through the repechage after losing her quarterfinal to the aforementioned Lkhagvatogoo almost four minutes into golden score time after accumulating three shidos (penalties).

On the men’s side, Arthur Margelidon also won a repechage match to get a chance at a bronze medal in the 73kg event. But in that bronze bout he ended up taking three shidos against Murodjon Yuldoshev of Uzbekistan. The fifth place finish is the best world championship result of Margelidon’s career.