Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkait medal at 2024 World Judo Championships

Christa Deguchi (YouTube/Wikimedia Commons)

Team Canada earned two medals on Monday at the 2024 World Judo Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In an interesting sequence of events, Christa Deguchi of Lethbridge, Alberta and Canadian Olympic bronze medalist Jessica Klimkait of Whitby, Ontario won the medal in the same event. Deguchi won silver and Klimkait won bronze in the women’s 57 kilogram weight class. Klimkait won bronze in the women’s 57 kilograms at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.

At the World Championship, Deguchi won all of her Pool A matches, and Klimkait won all of her Pool C matches. Deguchi beat Mina Libeer of Belgium, Mariana Esteves of Guinea, and Timna Nelson-Levy of Israel. Klimkait beat Julie Beurskens of the Netherlands, Arleta Podolak of Poland, and Lkhagvatogoogiin Enkhriilen of Mongolia.

In the semifinals, Deguchi beat Momo Tamaoki of Japan, and Klimkait lost to Mi-mi Huh of South Korea. In the gold medal match, Huh beat Deguchi. While in the repechage, Klimkait beat Nelson-Levy. The other bronze medal went to Tamaoki.

For Deguchi, this was her fourth World Judo Championship medal. She previously won gold in Tokyo in 2019 and Doha in 2023, and bronze in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2018. Klimkait has also won four World Judo Championship medals. She previously won gold in Budapest in 2021, bronze in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 2022, and bronze in Doha in 2023.

It appears now that Deguchi will represent Canada in the women’s 57 kilograms at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Under International Olympic Committee rules, each country can only send one judoka competitor to the Olympic Games per one weight class. The Canadian Olympic Committee decided to use the World Judo Championships as the event to determine which judoka will go to the Olympic Games.

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