Montreal, October 12, 2018 – Canadian judoka Jessica Klimkait was hoping for her first Grand Prix title on Friday night in Cancun, but her gold medal will have to wait a little longer. In the final in the -57 kg category, facing the reigning Olympic champion, Brazilian Rafaela Silva, the Ontarian was defeated and had to settle for the silver medal.
Klimkait, ranked 10th in the world, and Silva, ranked 11th, were facing each other for the sixth time. Klimkait had won their two previous fights, notably last month in the preliminary round of the World Championships. Silva came out as the winner today, claiming her victory after scoring two waza-ari.
“While Jessica kept using the same strategy as in the previous fights, making use of her mobility to induce favourable reactions from the Brazilian, this time her opponent made adjustments,” explained the national team coach Michel Almeida. “Her goal was to prevent Jessica from moving, and it has proved to be a good option for the Brazilian. Now is the time for Jessica to make the necessary adjustments.”
Having already won a silver medal twice during previous Grand Prix, Jessica Klimkait was hoping to step on the highest step of the podium for the first time on Friday. Earlier in the day, the Whitby native made her way into the tournament by eliminating Brazilian Tamires Crude, ranked 38th on the world ranking, and Polish Anna Borowska, ranked 17th. In the semifinal, Klimkait won again, this time against Romanian Corina Stefan, 71st in the world, to reach the final against Silva.
“Jessica has performed at a very high level and easily dominated her first three opponents, among which we could find the silver medallist from the London Olympic Games,” added Almeida.
It was the third final for a gold medal during a Grand Prix for Klimkait this year. In Zagreb (Croatia) in July, and in Hohhot (China) in May, the Canadian had lost against her teammate, Christa Deguchi.
“The Grand Prix is a high-level international competition, and she was defeated only by the current Olympic champion. Her silver medal is not a disappointment at all,” insisted Michel Almeida.
On Saturday, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard and Stéfanie Tremblay will be in action on the mats in -63 kg, and Emily Burt and Kelita Zupancic in -70 kg.
On the men’s team, Antoine Bouchard and Arthur Margelidon will be fighting in -73 kg, as well as Étienne Briand in -81 kg.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada