Canada takes home bronze, silver and gold

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24 April 2024
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Montreal, April 26, 2024 – The Canadian contingent collected gold, silver and bronze medals on Friday to kick off the senior competitions of the Pan-American and Oceania Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Arthur Margelidon topped the podium in the under-73 kg class, Christa Deguchi grabbed silver in the under-57 kg category, while her sister Kelly Deguchi finished third in the under-52 kg weight class.

Photo: Confederacion Panamericana de Judo
Arthur Margelidon, second from left.

In a rematch of last year’s Continental Championships final, Margelidon squared off against Brazil’s Daniel Cargnin and defeated him for the first time in his career in six bouts. This is the second continental title for the 30-year-old, following his 2016 victory in Havana.

“Arthur put up a good fight, he found his rhythm and made the right adjustments to come away with the win. He defeated a guy who’s beaten him several times, so it’s a nice step for him and it’s always nice,” said coach Antoine Valois-Fortier of the Montrealer’s performance, who fought this final with his head wrapped up due to a scalp cut sustained in the semi-final.

Margelidon almost lost the final at the very end of the 4-minute regulation period when he was thrown to the ground. The officials consulted the video replay and ruled that the point had not been scored, forcing extra time. The eventual gold medallist began to get the better of Cargnin after the first minute. The Brazilian already had two penalties against him, and Margelidon perfectly exploited this loophole.

“Arthur had the right physical preparation and the perfect mental approach to keep his rhythm. It’s very encouraging, just a few months away from the Olympic Games, to see that he’s in the right place physically. It’s very positive! […] He’s a patient, experienced guy who’s capable of stringing together demanding fights,” continued the coach.

Prior to his fourth and final bout, Margelidon had defeated Dominican Antonio Tornal in the semi-finals by ippon in a match that also went to overtime.

A war of trenches

Just like the under-73 kg final, the under-57 kg final featured the same athletes as the 2023 title match: Alberta’s Christa Deguchi and Brazil’s Rafaela Silva. Last year, Deguchi needed just 30 seconds to defeat Silva. This year’s duel was a marathon, as over 5 minutes of extra time were needed before the home favourite emerged victorious when the referee awarded a third penalty to Deguchi.

The attacks were very evenly balanced in this final confrontation. Deguchi didn’t let up, but the Brazilian and Olympic gold medallist at the same venue in 2016, managed to contain her on every occasion.

“It’s a bit disappointing. I think Christa was going for a gold medal, but unfortunately it was a close call. I won’t hide the fact that we’re in Rio, against an athlete from Rio, so Rio was good for her. To beat her, we had to get her on the ground and be convincing. The fight remained close for a very long time, and at the very end, it was all down to the Brazilian,” analyzed Valois-Fortier.

Kelly Deguchi (-52 kg) gave Canada a bronze medal with an ippon victory over Mexico’s Paulina Martinez after pinning her to the floor. Her only defeat of the day in four bouts came in the semi-final at the expense of American and eventual silver medallist Angelica Delgado.

“It was a nice surprise and Kelly had some great fights. She capitalized on her greatest strength, which is her ground work, and she was having a good day.”

As for the other Canadian results of the day, Quebec’s Julien Frascadore (-66 kg) took seventh place, finishing the day with a record of 1 win and 2 losses.

Bronze medallist at the junior tournament held earlier this week, Quebec’s Heidi Quach (-48 kg) failed to earn a ranking with her 1-1 record.

British Columbia’s Isabelle Harris saw her tournament come to an end in the under-63 kg competition after her first fight, as did Quebec’s Justin Lemire in the under-73 kg class.

Action resumes on Saturday in Brazil. François Gauthier-Drapeau (-81 kg) and Louis Krieber Gagnon (-90 kg) will be on the watch, as will Shady ElNahas and Kyle Reyes in the under-100 kg class. Marc Deschênes and John Jr. Messe A Bessong will compete in the over-100 kg category.

Laurence Biron (-70 kg), Coralie Godbout (-78 kg) and Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi (+78 kg) will fight in the women’s division.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

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

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