Montréal, June 7, 2021 – Although she is still recovering from a hand injury, Ecaterina Guica was fully motivated to compete in today’s under-52 kg division at the Judo World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. She made it to the third round of competition; however, she did not rank.
Following victories by ippon over Djamila Silva of Cape Verde and Gili Cohen of Israel, who is ranked tenth in the world, Guica lost by ippon to Diyora Keldiyorova of Uzbekistan, who finished the day in fifth place.
“It was the first time I fought her, and her judo style was difficult for me. That’s something I’m going to have to work on for the Olympics,” explained Guica, who hails from La Prairie and is currently ranked 28th in the world.
The gold medal winner of today’s event was Shishime Ai of Japan, who beat Spain’s Ana Perez Box to claim the title of World Champion.
Guica expressed her motivation to compete at this year’s world championships on several occasions, despite the fact that the odds weren’t stacked in her favour.
“I really wanted to medal today [Monday] and it was always on my mind. Sure, my performance was okay, but I’m a bit disappointed because I really wanted to reach the podium. I know my circumstances were complicated. I broke my hand two months ago, but I still felt ready to compete.”
Guica, who placed ninth at the Rio Olympic Games, injured her right hand at the Tbilisi Grand Prix in late March of this year. She underwent surgery on April 1 and had her cast removed a month later.
“I try not to think about it during my fights, but yes, my hand hurts. But that feels like an excuse, which I don’t really like. I started competing again only two weeks ago. I was feeling really good and healthy, and I did everything I could to be able to give 100% today.”
For the 27-year-old, the hurdle served only to increase her motivation, and she refused to back down simply because she could not weight train.
“I know that from the point of view of the physiotherapists, doctors and coaches, it was a tight [deadline]. I was proud of myself because I did everything I could to make sure I felt good coming here. My loss today can’t be blamed on my hand. It was because of an error on my part,” explained Guica, who added that she greatly appreciated the support received from the national team over the past few weeks.
“I’m very grateful for it. In Canada, we have an amazing team of dedicated people who are always available and who go above and beyond their job descriptions.”
Upon her return to Montréal, Guica will enter the “Olympic bubble” at the National Training Centre. Once there, she intends to increase her number of training matches.
Tuesday’s under-57 kg competition will feature Canadians Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkait, who are currently ranked first and second worldwide in their weight class. The one with the highest-place finish at tomorrow’s event will go on to represent Canada at the Tokyo Olympics next month.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada