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Canada delivers double gold at first European Open for women
4 Feb 2018 13:25
Ecaterina Guica and Christa Deguchi had a perfect day on Saturday at the European Open in Odivelas, Portugal. They both won in their own category. Canada tops the table after day of the first European Open of the year. Ecaterina Guica won her category U52kg in the final against Karolina Pienkowska. Guica won all her matches by ippon.
“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 feeling 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.
Christa Deguchi made her comeback in Europe after an absence of more three years in which she switched from Japan to Canada. Deguchi bested Jaione Equisoain of Spain in the final U57kg who was the third Spaniard who lost to Deguchi. 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.
Deguchi said in Odivelas: “This was my first medal fighting for Canada, and it felt great. Next weekend I will try my best to win for Canada.” 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.”
The category U48kg delivered an all Japanese final between Tamami Yamazaki and Mai Umekita, the Japanese Junior champion and former Cadet World Champion. It was Tamami though who captured the gold. She is from the same generation as Deguchi and won bronze at the World Junior Championships in Ljubljana in 2013, just like Deguchi. Catarina Costa won the only Portuguese medal, bronze in this category U48kg.
Poland was close to gold U52kg, but Karolina Talach secured Polish success in Odivelas, close to Lisbon. She won her first European Open gold medal. Last year she won the Grand Prix in Zagreb and in Portugal she continues her success. Talach won the final U63kg against Christina Cabana Perez of Spain. In the semi final she defeated number one seed Katharina Haecker (AUS). Talach is the number two in the World Ranking behind Agata Ozdoba.
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