Christa Deguchi wins gold at the 2023 Tokyo Grand Slam

Christa Deguchi (YouTube/Wikimedia Commons)

Christa Deguchi of Lethbridge, Alberta won her eighth grand slam judo gold medal on Saturday when she won the 2023 Tokyo Grand Slam. The two-time World Champion (of 2019 and 2023) was one of two Canadians to reach the podium in the women’s 57 kilogram lightweight division this weekend in Japan. The other was Canadian Olympic bronze medalist Jessica Klimkait of Whitby, Ontario, who won the bronze medal. Klimkait won the bronze medal in the women’s 57 kilogram judo division at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.

Deguchi beat Jessica Lima of Brazil in the gold medal match. Klimkait shared the bronze medal with Chen-Ling Lien of Chinese Taipei.

Deguchi was undefeated throughout the tournament. She beat Lele Nairne of Great Britain and Ayami Takano of Japan in Pool A, and Eteri Liparteliani of Georgia in the semifinals. Klimkait beat Altantsetseg Batsukh of the United Arab Emirates, Momo Tamaoki of Japan, and Chen-Ling Lien of Chinese Taipei in Pool C, before losing to Lima in the semifinals, and beating Timna Nelson Levy of Israel in the bronze medal match. Deguchi’s seven prior grand slam judo titles came in Paris in 2018, in Ekaterinburg in 2019, in Paris again in 2020, in Antalya in 2021, in Zagreb in 2022, in Baku in 2022, and Ulaanbaatar in 2023.

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