MONTREAL, Que. (from Judo Canada) – Christa Deguchi (-57 kg) surprised everyone with a perfect day on Saturday at the Paris Grand Slam, in France. She won the final by ippon against Tsukasa Yoshida, from Japan, and won Canada’s first ever gold medal at the prestigious judo tournament.
Formerly representing Japan, Degushi started fighting for Canada last fall. This gold medal at the Paris Grand Slam is not only the first one for Canada; it also has a special signification for the athlete, who won against a Japanese opponent.
“I lost twice before against Yoshida, so this was my revenge. I am happy that I’ve won for Canada and it was really nice to hear the Canadian National Anthem after my victory. I won a tournament last week, and I really wanted to win today too, so I feel good. I just changed my nationality, and I want Japan to be afraid of me. It felt really good to beat them,” said Deguchi.
The 22-year-old won by ippon against French Hélène Receveaux in the semi-final, in a very short bout that lasted 26 seconds. In the preliminary rounds, she won against Manon Durbach from Luxembourg, Youjeong Kwon from South Korea, and Timna Nelson Levy from Israel.
“For Christa, this is a great result. She is the first female athlete to win the Paris Grand Slam in Judo Canada history. She finishes her European tour with two back-to-back gold medals. I believe these results will give Christa a lot of confidence for future competitions,” commented her coach, Sasha Mehmedovic.
Arthur Margelidon (-73 kg) lost in the quarterfinal against Kosovar Akil Gjakova, after winning his first 2 fights in the preliminary rounds. He had to go through repechage, where Swedish Tommy Macias won by ippon after 18 seconds. In the final for the bronze medal, Changrim An, from South Korea, also won by ippon.
Antoine Bouchard (-73 kg) and Stéfanie Tremblay (-63 kg) both had 1 victory and 1 loss. Bouchard, who finished in 17th place, started his day by winning against Chinese Daga Qing, but then lost against Georgian Lasha Shavdatuashvili. Tremblay won her first fight by ippon against French Yasmine Horlaville before losing against Japanese Miku Tashiro, and finished in 9th place. In the under 52 kg category, Ecaterina Guica lost her first fight and didn’t get a ranking.
Pelletier 7th and Jora 9th in Italy
Malcom Pelletier (-60 kg) and Bogdan Jora (-66 kg) finished in 7th and 9th place in their categories at the Cadet European Cup in Follonica, Italy.
Pelletier won his first three bouts by ippon in the preliminary rounds. He lost his fourth fight against Daniel Detari, from Hungary, and went through repechage, where he won against Greek Vasileios Briolas. The Quebecois lost his second bout in the repechage against Spanish Daniel Gallego Saez.
Jora finished in 9th place in his category. He finished his day in repechage, where he lost against Estonian Deniel Nuriev. He had 2 victories and 1 loss in the preliminary round. He won his first fight by waza-ari in the repechage, against German Tom Moritz.
Arno Blacquière (-55 kg) had 1 victory and 1 loss. Andrée-Ann Somers (-44 kg), Sarah Maloum (-52 kg) and David Teper (-55 kg) all lost in the first round and didn’t get a ranking.