Montreal, April 20, 2018 – On Friday, Canadian judokas concluded the first day of the Pan American Championships in San José, in Costa Rica, with 5 medals. Christa Deguchi (-57 kg) and Antoine Bouchard (73 kg) were both crowned continental champions.
In the final for the gold medal in the -63 kg category, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard ended in second place.
Ecaterina Guica (-52 kg) and Jessica Klimkait (-57 kg) will both be coming home with a bronze medal in their respective category.
Christa Deguchi, who was very energetic on the mat, defeated Brazilian Tamires Crude by ippon during the gold medal fight.
“It was hard, because it was my first time fighting against her. Whenever I tried to attack her, she would get on the ground, so I changed my plan and tried to give her penalties.”
It was a winning strategy for the Lethbridge resident (Alberta), who reached her goal of winning gold.
“When I got here, I wanted the gold medal. It wasn’t a perfect day, but I did what I had to do. I need more stamina to make sure I fight well in overtime,” explained the athlete from Japan, who started representing Canada last fall.
Before getting to her final, Deguchi won against her teammate Jessica Klimkait (Whitby, Ontario) in overtime in the semifinal. Klimkait won’t be coming back home empty-ended either: she defeated Venezuelan Wisneybi Machado in one of the bronze medal fights.
Antoine Bouchard had the upper hand in the gold-medal fight in the -73 kg category against Cuban Magdiel Estrada.
“He’s a really physical guy and it all went down to the penalties. My plan was to impose my style and give a rhythm that he wouldn’t be able to keep. I followed my plan and it went well. I knew I had a better cardio. He was getting tired at the end, and I used it to my advantage. ”
Today’s victory gave him his second continental title, after winning it in 2015 in the -66 kg category. In the semifinal, Bouchard won by ippon against Brazilian David Lima.
In the same category, Bradley Langlois (Oshawa), ended in 5th place after losing against Peruvian Alonso Wong.
The other Canadian judoka in the final for a gold medal, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (Longueuil) lost against Cuban Maylin Del Toro Carvajal in the -63 kg category.
The silver medallist won against her teammate, Stéfanie Tremblay (Montreal), in the semifinal.
Tremblay then lost the bronze-medal fight against Anriquelis Barrios (Venezuela) and finished in 5th place.
The last Canadian to win a medal today was Ecaterina Guica (-52 kg, Montreal), who won her last fight by immobilizing Dominican Diana De Jesus on the ground.
Jacob Valois ended in repechage after 4 fights, good enough for a seventh place in the -66 kg category. The athlete from Boucherville was eliminated in repechage after losing against Venezuelan Ricardo Valderrama.
Marie Besson (-52 kg, Montreal) and Virginia Nemeth (-48 kg, Lethbridge) both lost their only fight.
Gueorgui Poklitar (-60 kg, Montreal) didn’t get a ranking and ended with 1 victory and 1 loss.
The competition will continue on Saturday.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada