Deguchi Wins World Title, Klimkait Secures Bronze

Elimination and Incomprehension
8 May 2023
Progress is evident for François Gauthier-Drapeau
11 May 2023

Arthur Margelidon Fifth

It was a prolific day for Canada at the Judo World Championships! The Canadian team earned two medals on Tuesday in Doha, Qatar. Alberta’s Christa Deguchi became the under-57 kg world champion once again, having won her first title four years ago. In the same weight class, Ontario’s Jessica Klimkait won bronze for the second year in a row.

Arthur Margelidon came close to clinching a third medal for Canada. In the under-73 kg bronze medal final, the Québécois lost by penalty in overtime.
“It’s been a great day! We have two athletes on the podium and another who came very close. It’s all very positive, and I hope we’ll see more of the same in the next few days,” said national coach Antoine Valois-Fortier.
Deguchi maintained control throughout her final bout against Haruka Funakubo of Japan, quickly ousting her opponent in a fight that lasted less than ninety seconds. First, she scored a waza-ari by knocking her opponent onto her backside. A few moments later, she threw Funakubo onto her back for an ippon.
Deguchi is an athlete who doesn’t show a lot of emotion, but as she left the mats and was congratulated by her coach, she couldn’t keep the smile from her face.
“Christa was nervous at the beginning of the day, but as the day progressed, she seemed more and more at ease, and she topped it all off in a spectacular final, where she dominated her opponent from start to finish. In that moment, she really showed us her best judo!” explained Valois-Fortier.
In the semi-final, 27-year-old Deguchi disposed of Mongolia’s Enkhriilen Lkhagvatogoo, the only athlete who had succeeded in defeating Klimkait on Tuesday after almost four minutes of overtime in the quarter-final. Lkhagvatogoo also ended the day with a bronze medal.
Klimkait regained the road to victory in the repechage, where she defeated Sarah Leonie Cysique of France in overtime. Her bronze medal bout against Hasret Bozkurt of Turkey was decided much more quickly. The Ontarian scored a waza-ari forty seconds into the fight, following up with an ippon on the ground ten seconds later.
Today’s bronze medal is Klimkait’s second at the World Championships. She won her first last year, and was crowned world champion in 2021.
“Although I came here wanting more, I’m glad to know that I’m consistent from year to year. I went into the bronze medal match with the intention of laying down my own tempo, my own attacks and my own style,” said the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist.
“One of Jessica’s strengths is that she’s always looking for ways to improve, and she already had a few solutions in mind [after her quarter-final loss] for her upcoming fights,” explained her coach.
Highest World Championships result for Margelidon
Arthur Margelidon, who finished seventh at the 2022 World Championships, came very close to earning his first World Championships podium finish today. The 29-year-old faced a formidable opponent in Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Yuldoshev in one of the two bronze medal finals.
In their three previous match-ups, the Montréaler had always gotten the better of Yuldoshev. Today, however, Yuldoshev was able to fend off Margelidon’s attacks on the ground, notably in overtime, when the Canadian had already received two penalties. One minute into overtime, a third infraction sealed Margelidon’s fate, and he finished fifth.
“Arthur lacked a bit of aggression in some key moments. […] Overall, it was a very positive day, but he’ll be a bit disappointed not to be on the podium. He may feel he lost third place rather than won fifth place, but with a bit of distance, he’ll see that it was positive day,” concluded the coach.
On Wednesday, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-63 kg) and François Gauthier-Drapeau (-81 kg) will represent Canada on the tatamis. Beauchemin-Pinard, who won silver at last year’s Worlds, will be seeking the top spot this time.


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