It was a very successful Friday for Canadian judokas in Antalya, Turkey. A total of four Canadians came away with medals as Team Canada won one silver medal and three bronze medals in the 2023 Antalya Grand Slam. In the women’s 57 kilogram division, Christa Deguchi of Lethbridge, Alberta won the silver medal. In the women’s 63 kilogram division, Canadian Olympic bronze medalist Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard of Montreal, Quebec won the bronze medal. In the men’s 81 kilogram division, Francois Gauthier-Drapeau of Alma, Quebec won the bronze medal, and in the men’s 100 kilogram division, Kyle Reyes of Brampton, Ontario won the bronze medal. Beauchemin-Pinard won the bronze medal in the women’s 63 kilogram weight class at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.
In the women’s 57 kilogram division, Deguchi won Pool A. She defeated Julia Kowalczyk of Poland, Altantsetseg of United Arab Emirates, and Qi Cai of China. Deguchi then beat Jessica Lima of Brazil in the semifinals before losing to Rafaela Silva of Brazil in the gold medal match. Kaja Kajzer of Slovenia and Lima shared the bronze medal.
In the women’s 63 kilogram division, Beauchemin-Pinard also won Pool A. She defeated Kerem Primo of Israel, Minel Akdeniz of Turkey, and Gemma Howell of Great Britain. Beauchemin-Pinard then lost to Ketleyn Quadros of Brazil in the semifinals before beating Lubjana Piovesana of Austria in the Repechage. Quadros won the gold medal, and Inbal Shemesh of Israel won the silver medal. Katharina Haecker of Australia won the other bronze medal.
In the men’s 81 kilogram division, Gauthier-Drapeau won his first two matches as he beat Aurelien Bonferroni of Switzerland and Agustin Gil of Argentina before losing to Alpha Oumar Djalo of France. In the Repechage, Gauthier-Drapeau beat Jose Maria Mendiola Izquieta of Spain and Sharofiddin Boltaboev of Uzbekistan to earn a podium position. Matthias Casse of Belgium won the gold medal, Saeid Mollaei of Azerbaijan won the silver medal, and Djalo won the other bronze medal.
In the men’s 100 kilogram division, Reyes won his first two matches of Pool C. He defeated Grigori Minaskin of Estonia and Laurin Boehler of Austria before losing to Daniel Eich of Switzerland. Reyes then beat Anton Savytskiy of Ukraine and Simeon Catharina of the Netherlands in the Repechage. Aaron Fara of Austria won the gold medal, Eich won the silver medal, and Bojan Dosen of Serbia won the other bronze medal. The medals for Reyes, Gauthier-Drapeau, Beauchemin-Pinard and Deguchi, will give them confidence as they prepare for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.