MONTREAL, Que. (from Judo Canada) — Ecaterina Guica (-52 kg) and Christa Deguchi (-57 kg) had a perfect day on Saturday at the European Open in Odivelas, Portugal. They both won in their own category.
“This was a terrific day for team Canada. As an Assistant National Coach, I am very happy how the first day went. For both of the athletes this was a very good preparation and confidence builder before the Paris Grand Slam next weekend,” said Sasha Mehmedovic.
Guica won all her fights by ippon. She won the final against Polish Karolina Pienkowska. The athlete from Montreal defeated Lyudmyla Pliieva from Ukraine in the semi-final, and Spanish Sofia Hogrefe Acea and French Cecile Herate in the preliminary round.
“I’m happy with my performance today, it was really important for me to get some good fights in before Paris. I think it’s a good start for my year and it helps me feel confident for the Grand Slam next week,” said Guica.
“Ecaterina fought very hard and smart. She used her experience and managed to beat her opponents without any trouble,” added Mehmedovic.
Deguchi, now fighting for Canada, performed just as well. She also won all her fights by ippon. Spanish Jaione Equisoain wasn’t strong enough against the Canadian judoka to win the final. Deguchi won against Tecla Cadilla Acevedo from Spain in the semi-final, as well as French Laury Posvite, Spanish Carla Ubasart Mascaro and Japanese Yuka Watabe.
“This was my first medal fighting for Canada, and it felt great. Next weekend I will try my best to win for Canada,” commented Deguchi.
Her coach added, “For Christa, this is a very meaningful result. She also dominated her opponents on her way to the top of the podium.”
Erin Morgan (-48 kg) finished in 7th place in her category. She ended her day in repechage, where she lost by ippon against Cinta Garcia Mesa from Spain. She had 2 victories and 1 loss in the preliminary round.
Saguenay-native Stéfanie Tremblay (-63 kg) didn’t get a ranking.