Facing French Sarah-Léonie Cysique, who’s 10th on the world ranking, the Ontarian was able to throw her opponent to score a spectacular ippon and win the gold medal. Klimkait is very happy with the result after her 7th place at the Paris Grand Slam earlier in February.
“I feel really good! After a disappointing tournament in Paris, I knew I had to work on a few aspects of my judo to perform better. I’m happy to have been able to set my goals quickly to perform well here.”
The 23-year-old says she was becoming too predictable in her recent fights. She decided to go back to the basics by multiplying quick attacks, which is what made all the difference, according to her. “For the final, my goal was to be the first one to grip and to impose my pace during the bout, as it has been throughout the tournament,” she added.
Knowing the Olympics are in a few months, the Canadian didn’t feel more nervous about her world ranking. “I’m not worried about my ranking right now, and I don’t think I’ll be out of the top 8. The most important thing for me was to offer good quality judo, without thinking about the results,” commented the judoka, who’s currently 4th on the world ranking.
This medal was her 6th in a Grand Slam, and the second gold one. She had also won gold in Osaka in 2018.
Jessica Klimkait started the day off by defeating German Nora Bannenberg and Cuban Nahomys Acosta Batte by ippon. She then won by waza-ari against Russian Anastasia Konkina to reach the semifinals, and defeated Mongolian Sumiya Dorjsuren by waza-ari to get into the gold-medal contest.
The Dusseldorf Grand Slam will continue on Saturday, and several Canadian judokas will be in action. Arthur Margelidon and Antoine Bouchard will both be fighting in -73 kg, and Étienne Briand will be in -81 kg. On the women’s team, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard will be competing in the -63 kg category.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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