Not only Canada was looking forward to the super clash between Jessica Klimkait and Christa Deguchi. The two Canadian rivals are the numbers 4 and 7 in the IJF World Ranking but both capable of winning an Olympic medal, a historic Olympic medal. Only one of them can qualify for the Games and although the Grand Prix in Montreal is just a pit stop, this duel got all the attention, at home in Montreal in the Olympic venue of 1976.
It was a very important match for Canada. The first Grand Prix in Canada with an all Canadian final. Only one of them has to qualify for the Games and although the Grand Prix in Montreal is just a pit stop, this duel will get all the attention, at home in Montreal in the Olympic venue of 1976.
The contest was decided by a shime waza in 100 seconds by Deguchi who made it 5-0. Klimkait got choked out. However with a deep o-ochui she made a amazing transition, kept the lapel grip for that choke and climbed on Klimkait to increase the pressure.
Christa Deguchi is now leading the battle of the two with 5-0 but also Klimkait is able to win a Grand Slam like she did in Japan. So far three of the four head2heads were decided in the final, in Hohhot in 2018, Zagreb 2018 and this year’s Grand Slam in Paris. Both were obviously separated at the draw a clash in the final was inevitable.
Paris this year
At the Grand Slam in Paris Jessica Klimkait lost to Deguchi. Even though she’d have preferred the gold medal, Jessica Klimkait was happy to be part of the historic event. “It’s a hard loss, but it only encourages me to keep pushing forward. The match was close, but I unfortunately made a mistake that cost me the match in the last few seconds,” she admitted.
Her day will allow her to plan her 2019 season. “As this is the first tournament of the year, I wanted to be able to walk away with valuable goals that I can work on to progress my judo. There were fights where I wish I had performed better, but I was glad to have reached the finals.”
Christa Deguchi about her win against Klimkait in Paris: “It was a hard match in the final because it was against Jessica. She makes me stronger.” Deguchi was happy to find her momentum again after a difficult start in 2019. “I was a little nervous before Paris, because I wasn’t sure I could win. I had a lot of pressure and I wasn’t in good condition, but I tried hard. I didn’t focus on winning, but rather on doing my best, and it worked!”
Today is the day.