Canada wins three medals at IJF Grand Slam in Paris

Christa Deguchi (YouTube/Wikimedia Commons)

Team Canada won three medals at the International Judo Grand Slam in Paris this past weekend. In the women’s 57 kilogram weight class, Christa Deguchi of Lethbridge, Alberta won the silver medal and Canadian Olympic bronze medalist Jessica Klimkait of Whitby, Ontario won bronze. In the men’s 81 kilograms, Francois Gauthier-Drapeau of Alma, Quebec won bronze.

In the women’s 57 kilogram on Friday, Faiza Mokdar defeated Deguchi in the final to take gold. Deguchi won Pool A with wins over Enkhriilen Lkhagvatogoo of Mongolia, Momo Tamaoki of Japan, and Veronica Toniolo of Italy. Deguchi then beat Sarah Leonie Cysique of France in the semifinal. Klimkait beat Nok Lam Yeung of Hong Kong, Priscilla Gneto of France, and Marica Perisic of Serbia to win Pool C. Klimkait then lost to Mokdar in the semifinal before beating Nora Gjakova of Kosovo in the repechage to take bronze. Cysique won the other bronze medal.

Deguchi has now won 13 grand slam medals (eight gold, four silver and one bronze). Klimkait has won 17 grand slam medals (six gold, four silver, and 10 bronze). In the women’s 57 kilogram weight class, Deguchi is first in the world with 8195 points and Klimkait is second with 7600 points. According to Paula Nichols, Francois Lafleur and Michael Charlebois of the Canadian Olympic Committee on Monday, the Canadian representative in the women’s 57 kilogram weight class at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris will be the judoka who is highest in the world rankings on June 25.

In the men’s 81 kilogram on Saturday, Gauthier-Drapeau, won his sixth career bronze medal at the IJF Grand Slam level (all bronze medals). In Paris, Gauthier-Drapeau won Pool D after wins over Bolor-Ochir Gereltuya of Mongolia, Yuhei Oino of Japan, and Dominic Ressel of Germany. After losing to Zelim Tckaev of Azerbaijan in the semifinals, Gauthier-Drapeau beat Mihail Latisev of Macedonia to win bronze. Matthias Casse of Belgium won gold, Tckaev won silver, and Timur Arbuzov of the Individual Neutral Athletes won the other bronze medal. In the world rankings, Gauthier-Drapeau is fifth with 4495 points. Casse leads with 8527 points.


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