Conquer the world, then Tokyo

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The worlds will be webcast live on CBC Sports

Even though they may be the world number one and two in the under 57 kg category, only one will be able to make it to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. At the World Championships, which begin this Sunday in Budapest, Canadians Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkait will not only capture the attention of fans across the country, but also judo lovers from around the world.

Remember that Deguchi and Klimkait are in an exciting race to obtain the only Olympic spot available to Canada in their weight class. Next Tuesday, at the end of their competition day, the one with the best ranking will win a ticket to the Japanese capital.

“It may be a story that will go beyond the sole Canadian interest. I think it will also be followed on the international judo scene, regardless of its outcome,” said Nicolas Gill, CEO and High Performance Director of Judo Canada. “World title and Olympic ticket, the stakes are enormous, the stress levels are exceedingly high.”

“Based on the latest updates, both are in great shape and up for the challenge. Obviously, the scenario we want is for logic to be followed and the two to end up in the final. We want them to find themselves in a context that will allow them both to offer a high-level performance.”

Details of possible scenarios for Deguchi and Klimkait can be found in the news section on the Judo Canada website May the Best Woman Win…Tokyo!

Eight athletes will represent the country in the Hungarian capital

In addition to Deguchi, a member of the Lethbridge judo club in Alberta, and Klimkait, from Whitby, Ontario, six other Canadian judokas will compete in Budapest.

  • Ecaterina Guica (-52 kg), from La Prairie, Quebec;
  • Étienne Briand (-81 kg), from Sept-Îles, Quebec;
  • Mohab El Nahas (-90 kg), from Mississauga, Ontario;
  • Shady El Nahas (-100 kg), from Mississauga, Ontario;
  • Kyle Reyes (-100 kg) from Toronto, Ontario;
  • Marc Deschênes (+100 kg), from Laval, Quebec.

“Among these athletes, Ecaterina and Shady are really hoping to solidify their place for the Tokyo Olympics Games, while Etienne and Kyle want to get back into the race,” said Gill.

“Shady finished 7th at the last worlds, which left him with a little bitter taste. He wants to get closer to the podium this time around. Not only would that secure his place for Tokyo, but it would put him in a great mindset just weeks away from the Games.”

The eight athletes of the national delegation will be accompanied by coaches Janusz Pawlowski and Sasha Mehmedovic as well as therapist Tiffany Hunting.

Live on the CBC Sports internet platform

The World Championships will be webcast by CBC. The schedule is available at cbc.ca/player/sports/live.

“For us, it’s a great visibility. We hope that the Canadian content will be high, that our athletes will win several fights. For judo fans, being able to follow the world championships live is a great opportunity!”