Silver Medallist Jessica Klimkait Comes Up Just Short

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Bronze for Christa Deguchi

Montréal, March 22, 2024 – Although Jessica Klimkait fought hard until the very last second of Friday’s under-57 kg big final at the Tbilisi Grand Slam in Georgia, she ultimately had to concede defeat.

Photo: IJF / Tamara Kulumbegashvili
Jessica Klimkait, Eteri Liparteliani, Christa Deguchi and Rafaela Silva

One thing is certain, however: She gave her all on the tatamis today. After winning her first four bouts of the day, two in overtime and two by waza-ari at the end of regulation time, Klimkait faced Eteri Liparteliani of Georgia in the final showdown.

Cheered on by the home country crowd, Liparteliani quickly made her intentions clear, scoring a waza-ari to take the lead. This appeared to spur Klimkait into action, and she relentlessly increased the pressure on her opponent for the duration of the match. She launched multiple attacks, but each one was rebuffed by her invincible adversary.

In the final minute of the bout, a visibly exhausted Liparteliani received two penalties, but managed to avoid a third, which would have cost her the match. Instead, she held on until the final moments, bringing the crowd to its feet as she clinched the title at the end of the four-minute contest.

“Had it lasted another 30 seconds or so, Jessica probably would have won!” exclaimed Canadian national coach Antoine Valois-Fortier at the end of the day.

“Still, you have to give credit to Liparteliani. She had a heck of a great day,” he added. “Unfortunately, Jessica made a few tactical errors, and that’s what made the difference. She made a strong comeback during that bout, and the experience will only make her stronger next time.”

Also in under-57 kg action today, Christa Deguchi climbed onto the third step of the podium after defeating Jessica Lima of Brazil by waza-ari in one of the two bronze medal finals.

After winning her two first bouts on Friday in the Georgian capital, Deguchi experienced her only loss of the day against Kaja Kajzer of Slovenia, who won by waza-ari in overtime. Kajzer ended the day in fifth place.

Following her loss, Deguchi, who holds the top spot in the weight category’s international rankings and is the current world champion, quickly bounced back in the repechage, defeating Serbia’s Marica Perisic by ippon in less than a minute before finishing the day in fine style against Lima.

“[Christa] got caught off-guard in a bout that she was clearly dominating, in my opinion. Other than that, she had a great day, and it was a good learning experience. Now we’ll go do our homework, and be ready for next time,” concluded Valois-Fortier.

Julien Frascadore (-66 kg) and Kelly Deguchi (-52 kg) lost their second-round bouts after receiving byes in the first round.

The Tbilisi Grand Slam will continue on Saturday. Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-63 kg), Arthur Margelidon (-73 kg), and François Gauthier-Drapeau (-81 kg) will attempt to add to Canada’s medal haul.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operating Officer
Judo Canada
(514) 668-6279

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