Christa Deguchi, vice-world champion and future Olympian | Olympic Games

Christa Deguchi, vice-world champion and future Olympian | Olympic Games
Christa Deguchi, vice-world champion and future Olympian | Olympic Games

And only one Canadian judoka can represent the country at the Paris Games.

If we expected a final between Deguchi and Klimkait in the under 57 kg category, the issue was sealed during the semi-finals. Deguchi’s victory against the Japanese Momo Tamaoki, combined with Klimkait’s defeat against the South Korean Mimi Huh, confirmed the Olympic ticket for Deguchi.

Until May 23, Radio-Canada Sports presents the judo worlds live from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Philippe Crépeau and Jean-Philippe Éthier will commentate on the finals. The other sessions will be broadcast without comments.

Later, Deguchi lost in the final to Mimi, while Klimkait won her bronze medal bout against Israeli Timna Nelson Levy.

kg; it’s going to be Christa at the Games”,”text”:”The official announcement will be made in the coming weeks [le 27 juin, par Judo Canada], but we know the identity of the person who will represent Canada in the under 57kg category; it’s going to be Christa at the Games”}}”>The official announcement will be made in the coming weeks [le 27 juin, par Judo Canada], but we know the identity of the person who will represent Canada in the under 57 kg category; it’s going to be Christa at the Gamesadmitted Antoine Valois-Fortier, coach of the national team, when contacted by Radio-Canada Sports.

I’m disappointed not to get gold, but so relieved to qualify for the Gamesexplained the Canadian-Japanese to several media on site.

When I was preparing for Tokyo, I was really nervous, Deguchi admitted. I didn’t want to repeat the same mistake this time and [lundi]I didn’t think about the stakes, I focused on the quality of my fights.

However, in the semi-finals, Deguchi relived a scenario experienced before the Tokyo Games: that of facing the Japanese Momo Tamaoki, the one who had defeated her in the final four of the 2021 world championships and deprived of a place in the OJ.

It’s quite similar to what happened in 2021, with the same opponent that I know very well, recalled Deguchi. There was some trauma at the time, but I tried not to think about it too much. To think of nothing. Just in combat.

After this victory, as well as the confirmation of his Olympic qualification, Deguchi admitted that emotions took over.

He congratulated me, I realized I was going to Paris, Deguchi said of Valois-Fortier. I didn’t think I would cry [aujourd’hui]but I cried, it was an intense moment, emotions that I had never felt.

All these emotions, combined with a grueling fight lasting more than 12 minutes in the final, explain the exhaustion experienced by Deguchi at the end.

The main player lost after receiving a third penalty, after more than eight minutes of overtime. She therefore won the silver medal, having won gold last year in Doha, Qatar.

If I didn’t get the gold, there’s a reason, I tried to remobilize myself, she explained, but I’m tired, I need to rest.

His coach approves when Radio-Canada Sports asks him what Deguchi should do for his Olympic preparation.

The first thing she needs to do is take a little break, her coach replies, smiling, to recover physically and mentally from the roller coaster of emotions of the last two years. Then we go back to the preparation.

Klimkait’s disappointment

The situation is also heartbreaking for Valois-Fortier: it is euphoria for one of her protégés and disappointment for the other.

I will admit to you that I had a hard time watching that, having seen all the efforts and knowing the talent of this athlete, it was difficult. Cruel is the word, no doubt.

Antoine Valois-Fortier tries to comfort Jessica Klimkait after her defeat in the semi-finals at the World Championships in Doha. Photo: IJF / Tamara Kulumbegashvili

Victim of a waza-ari 40 seconds into her semi-final duel, Klimkait tried to gain the advantage over her rival, in vain. Six seconds from the end of the fight, the Ontarian burst into tears, seeing her qualification for her second Olympic Games disappear.

Sometimes, trying to find the right words, you get lost. We gave him time to digest all that, said Valois-Fortier. I was really impressed by her strength of character, I haven’t seen that often, but she decided, on her own, to get through her day and finish with her head held high.

Klimkait will leave Abu Dhabi with bronze, a fourth medal in a row at the worlds, after his title in 2021, as well as his 3rd places the following two years.

>Jessica Klimkait stands with her hands on her hips.>

Jessica Klimkait during her fight for the bronze medal.Photo: IJF

At the Tokyo Games in 2021, Klimkait won the bronze medal.

In the men’s category, the Canadian Arthur Margelidon (-73 kg) was defeated in his second fight by the Japanese Tatsuki Ishihara.

For his part, Julien Frascadore (-66 kg) dropped the flag from his first shock, against the Frenchman Daikii Bouba.

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