Patience and Careful Execution Lead to Gold for Jessica Klimkait

Cadet Worlds Selection Update
1 May 2024
Kyle Reyes Fifth in Dushanbe
5 May 2024

Montréal, May 3, 2024 – Jessica Klimkait’s Grand Slam winning streak continues! The 27-year-old judoka climbed to the top of the Grand Slam podium for the 14th consecutive time, on a streak that began in February 2020. On Friday, Klimkait captured the gold medal in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.

Photo IJF
Jessica Klimkait (second from the left)

It was her 29th medal on this circuit since the beginning of her dazzling career.

“I’m happy to be on top of the podium, especially after my recent silver place in Georgia. I made sure to be patient and focus on the details in the final. I’m glad that it came together”, said Klimkait.

In the under-57 kg big final, she was up against Sarah-Leonie Cysique of France. The two Paris Grand Slam bronze medallists hadn’t faced each other since the Masters Tournament last August, when the Canadian won the event in overtime.

In Dushanbe today, Klimkait came very close to scoring with two minutes left in regulation time. She knocked Cysique over twice, but Cysique regained her footing both times.

The Ontarian therefore continued to attack, and Cysique, who is ranked seventh in the world, incurred penalties as she attempted to counter the offensives. Her third shido in overtime put an end to the match, which had lasted 5 minutes and 29 seconds.

“Fights between Jessica and [Sarah-Leonie] are always very physical, and today’s was no exception. With time, Jessica has learned a lot about how to fight her, so she knew how to prepare her attacks, without leaving any openings [for Cysique],” explained national coach Janusz Pawlowski, about today’s gold medal victory.

“The key is to stick to the game plan and remain patient. The bout dragged on, but Jessica remained consistent, and she never strayed from her plan to clinch the win.”

To begin the tournament, Klimkait bested Yamini Mourya of India by ippon. She then defeated Maysa Pardayeva of Turkmenistan to advance to the semi-finals, where she ousted Enkhriilen Lkhagvatogoo of Mongolia.

“There’s always a bit of nervousness early in the day. Emotions run high. Her first bout, against a lesser-known opponent, was a bit more difficult, but after that, she got on track,” added Pawlowski. “She was very determined, and she knew what she had to do to accomplish her objectives for the day. She had great posture on the tatamis, which allowed her to get great grips and minimize errors. It was great judo!”

Julien Frascadore competed in the under-66 kg weight division on Friday. The Québécois began by defeating Kubanychbek Aibek Uulu of Kyrgyzstan, who received three penalties.

The inverse took place in the next round, however, when Frascadore took on Serdar Rahimov and received three shidos, thus putting an end to his run. Rahimov later advanced all the way to the big final, where he defeated local athlete Obid Dzhebov to secure the title.

“Julien’s first fight went very well. He dominated his opponent, who was out of breath after two minutes. After that, he lost to a judoka who has improved a lot over the past few years. Julien had trouble countering his attacks, and so he was consequently penalized,” explained Pawlowski, who also wished to point out what had gone well.

“Despite his loss, he looked great, both physically and tactically. But in order to improve, you have to have fights like that, against opponents like that.”

No Canadians will be in action on Saturday at the Dushanbe Grand Slam. On Sunday, Kyle Reyes will be the one to watch, in the under-100 kg category.


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

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

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