Canadian Olympic Preview: Judo

Jessica Klimkait (YouTube)

Heading into the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021, Team Canada was in a unique position when it came to the women’s 57 kilogram event. Only one Canadian judoka would be able to compete in the event even though Jessica Klimkait of Whitby, Ontario was ranked first in the world, and Christa Deguchi of Lethbridge, Alberta was ranked second.

Judo Canada was all set to have a unique fight-off to determine the representative. However, due to coronavirus rules and regulations, it made a fight-off complicated. So the judokas were then informed that the top judoka from the 2021 World Judo Championships in Budapest would represent Canada. In the women’s 57 kilograms, Klimkait won the gold medal, while Deguchi finished fifth. Olympic action in the women’s 57 kilogram takes place in the women’s 57 kg on July 26, with Klimkait a gold medal favourite.

In other action on July 26, Arthur Margelidon of Montreal, Quebec will be competing in the men’s 76 kg. Margelidon is also an Olympic medal contender for Canada, having won five medals in International Judo Federation Grand Slam events since 2017.

Meanwhile, in the women’s 52-kilogram weight class on July 25, Ecaterina Guica of Montreal, Quebec will be in action. Guica is a three-time IJF Grand Prix medalist since 2017.

On July 27, there will be two medal hopefuls for Canada in judo. In the women’s 63-kilogram event, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard of Montreal, Quebec will be in action, and in the men’s 81-kilogram event, Olympic bronze medalist Antoine Valois-Fortier of Quebec City, Quebec will be competing. Valois-Fortier won a bronze medal for Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and three medals at the World Judo Championships (silver in 2014, and bronze in 2015 and 2019). Beauchemin-Pinard meanwhile won gold in the 2021 International Judo Federation Grand Slam event in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Finally in the men’s 100 kilogram event, Shady El Nahas of Montreal, Quebec will be competing on July 29. Like Beauchemin-Pinard, El Nahas won gold in an IJF Grand Slam event in Tbilisi.


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