(AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
(AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Klimkait wins gold, Reyes secures bronze at the IJF Hungary Masters

A competitive weekend for Team Canada at the IJF Hungary Masters 2023 ends with judoka Kyle Reyes on the podium. Two days after Jessica Klimkait claimed the gold medal in the -57kg category, Reyes added a bronze medal in the -100kg category on Sunday. The competition in Budapest comes to a wrap on August 6.

Reyes began the tournament in Pool B play, defeating Rafael Buzacarini in his first duel and Daniel Eich in his second. Reyes bowed out in his third to Israeli Peter Paltchik, sending him to the repechage. He recovered well, winning his last two fights to add a second medal for Team Canada.

In the first match for a bronze medal, Reyes faced off against Serbian Bojan Dosen winning by golden score, a sudden-death overtime. It was Reyes who looked more in control throughout. As the time passed there were two penalties awarded to each but the Canadian looked stronger and more precise.

Half a minute into golden score, he took a double collar grip and reach past Dosen to hook on to a law osoto-gari for waza-ari. The contest was going his way and he confirmed it, taking bronze and the Olympic ranking points.

Canada finished the weekend seventh in overall standings.

Jessica Klimkait earns gold

Klimkait began the tournament on Friday by beating Bulgaria’s Ivelina Ilieva by ippon in the first round, before winning her bout against Britain’s Lele Nairne with two waza-ari. In the quarter-finals, the Canadian faced France’s Priscilla Neto in a long bout won by Klimkait with an ippon three minutes 17 seconds into golden score overtime. The semi-final bout was much shorter, with Klimkait successfully projecting at the expense of Germany’s Pauline Starke to score an ippon after just 33 seconds.

She faced off in the final against France’s Sarah-Léonie Cysique. Klimkait entered the match with a 6-2 record in match ups with Cysique.

With no winner within regulation time, the judokas advanced to golden score overtime, during which Klimkait won by ippon (a single throw which puts the opponent on their back).

This gold medal continues Klimkait’s run of consecutive podium finishes, as she has now won a medal in her last 15 tournaments, including a bronze at the IJF World Judo Championships in Doha, Qatar, in May.

The 26-year old made her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, where she won a bronze medal.