Montréal, July 15, 2022 – Christa Deguchi was expeditious on the tatamis in the under-57 kg final at the Zagreb Grand Prix in Croatia on Friday. The Canadian judoka needed less than two minutes to clinch her fourth career Grand Prix gold medal.
Having returned to competition just a few months ago, Deguchi did not hold back in her grand final bout against Georgia’s Eteri Liparteliani. Deguchi deflected a manoeuvre by her opponent before launching an offensive. After her first three attempts were thwarted by Liparteliani, Deguchi managed to throw her to the ground to win by ippon, one minute and 52 seconds into the fight.
The champion had not set foot on the podium since April 1, 2021, when she won gold in Antalya.
“I’m glad to be back on the podium. It’s been a long time since I won a gold medal!” she stated. “I feel like I fought better than I did in my last competition, in Turkey, in April. Now I’d like to maintain my momentum, and I’m looking forward to the Commonwealth Games, which are coming up in a few weeks, and the World Championships this fall.”
Deguchi began her day on Friday with a win by ippon over Arleta Podolak of Poland. In her next two matches, she defeated Veronica Toniolo of Italy and Mina Libeer of Belgium, both in overtime.
In the semi-final, the Canadian dispatched of Slovenia’s Kaja Kajzer in less than 70 seconds. The scene was thus set for her victory in the final.
Her younger sister Kelly Deguchi faced a tough challenge early in the day in the under-52 kg class. She was eliminated by Japan’s Uta Abe, current Olympic champion, who later won the gold medal in Zagreb.
Julien Frascadore was also eliminated after one fight in the under-60 kg category. He lost by ippon to Hakberdi Jumayev of Turkmenistan.
The Grand Prix will continue in Zagreb on Saturday. Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-63 kg), Mohab El Nahas (-81 kg), François Gauthier-Drapeau (-81 kg) and Arthur Margelidon (-73 kg) will all hit the tatamis.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
For more information:
Chief Operating Officer