Montreal, November 23, 2018 – Canadian Jessica Klimkait has achieved quite an accomplishment on Saturday, at the Osaka Grand Slam, in Japan. She stood on the highest step of the podium in the -57 kg category, becoming the only non-Japanese gold medallist of the competition so far.
The Canadian won against Japanese Momo Tamaoki in the finale. “My finale went smoothly. After scoring, I did my best to keep going according to the game plan we had. I tried to remain calm and alert to make sure I wouldn’t make a mistake at the end,” said the Ontarian.
Her hardest fight of the day was the semifinal against Japanese Haruka Funakubo. “She’s really good on the ground, and I was worried a few times during the bout, but I was able to counter her attacks and to score,” explained Klimkait.
In the preliminary rounds, the Canadian first defeated Venezuelan Wisneybi Machado, then Japanese Kana Tomiwaza and Mongolian Sumiya Dorjsuren.
“I knew I could win against all my opponents today, and I also knew it would all be a matter of how I felt. I worked hard to get here, so I won’t say it was a surprise, but I’m really happy to finally see hard my hard work paying off during a major event,” she said.
Also fighting in -57 kg, Christa Deguchi finished in 5th place. She was eliminated in repechage by Japanese Haruka Funakubo, who gave Klimkait a hard time in the semifinal.
In the preliminary round, Deguchi had won both her fights, before being defeated by Momo Tamaoki, who went on to win the silver medal.
In -73 kg, Arthur Margelidon also ranked in 5th place. After a perfect score in the preliminaries, he couldn’t get the upper hand on Japanese Masashi Ebinuma in the quarterfinal. Then fighting for bronze, he lost against Swedish Tommy Macias.
After receiving a bye through the first round in -81 kg, Étienne Briand lost against Japanese Kenya Kohara, who won the silver medal.
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-63 kg) and Kelita Zupancic (-70 kg) both were eliminated after their second fight of the day. Emily Burt (-70 kg) was eliminated in the first round.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada