Montreal, April 25, 2019 – Christa Deguchi (-57 kg) sustained her momentum on the international scene by standing on the top of the podium at the Pan American Championships in Lima, in Peru, on Thursday. She was crowned the champion for a second year in a row.
In the gold-medal fight, the Canadian won by ippon against Rio Olympics gold medallist, Brazilian Rafaela Silva. “She has already defeated me in the past, but I did better this time. I fought better than I did last year.”
Before reaching the final, Deguchi had defeated Kiara Arango Miranda (Peru), Keyla Vasquez (Columbia), and Anailys Dorvigny (Cuba) by ippon.
The gold medallist had a good season and is now ranked second on the individual Olympic world ranking in her category. “I’m very happy to be in the top 3, but I’m not first, and I’m a little disappointed about that,” she said.
The next major event for Deguchi will be the World Championships, this summer, in Tokyo. It should be a special tournament for Deguchi, who comes from Japan.
“I already feel the pressure, and I’m a little nervous, because I didn’t have good results in Japan in the past,” commented the bronze medallist of the 2018 World Championships in Baku, in Azerbaidjan.
“I’ll try my best and try to stay calm.”
Fighting in the same category, Camelia Pitsilis was defeated by Columbian Yadinys Amaris during her first and only fight.
Valois in Bronze
For the first time in his career, Jacob Valois stood on the Pan American podium after defeating Venezuelan Ricardo Valderrama during the bronze-medal fight in the -66 kg category.
“I lost against him last year during the Pan American Championships,” remembered the Canadian. “I was a little nervous before the fight, but I gave my 100%, and it was hard. I took advantage when he was on his knees to counter and win. I’m happy with how today went! To win a medal at the Pan Ams is a great feeling, and now, I have to collect more points to qualify for the Olympic Games.”
After winning by ippon against Puerto Rican Carlos Rodriguez and Argentinian Minory Tamashiro, the Boucherville-native was defeated with the eventual gold medallist, Brazilian Daniel Cardin, who won by waza-ari.
“Cargin has a lot of experience, and I had a hard time against him. I’ll need to work hard when I get back to Montreal,” explained Valois, who has, however, seen a lot of improvement in his judo since last year.
In -52 kg, Marie Besson (2-2) saw her day end in repechage and took the seventh place. Also in action, Ecaterina Guica (1-2) has known a similar fate and ended in seventh place after being defeated in repechage.
The last Canadian in action, Hakim Chala, didn’t get a ranking after a 1-1 score in the -60 kg category.
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (63 kg), Emily Burt (70 kg), Kelita Zupancic (70 kg), Antoine Bouchard (-73 kg), Arthur Margelidon (-73 kg), Étienne Briand (81 kg), and Antoine Valois-Fortier (81 kg) will be representing Canada on Friday.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada