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Christa Deguchi wins Canada’s first Paris Grand Slam gold
10 Feb 2018 20:00
Canadian Christa Deguchi came back to haunt her former charges as the former Junior World Championships silver medallist for Japan won in the colours of Canada today against world silver medallist and top seed Yoshida Tsukasa of Japan.
Portugal European Open winner Deguchi, 22, won gold last weekend with five ippons from her five contests to capture her first title for Canada having officially switched from Japan in 2017. The former domestic rivals met for the first time in an international setting in Paris and it was Deguchi who claimed the best result of her career by breaking the resistance of Yoshida on two occasions with a waza-ari being added to the scoreboard on each occasion. Both judoka are aiming for a place in Tokyo 2020, something which would be impossible if they were representing the same country, and they could very well meet again on the Olympic stage in Japan.
In the first semi-final world bronze medallist Nekoda Smythe-Davis (GBR) came undone in the closing seconds against Yoshida who threw spectacularly with an o-guruma for ippon with 13 seconds left on the clock. In the second semi-final World Judo Masters bronze medallist Helene Receveaux (FRA) was shocked by Deguchi by ippon. The Canadian judoka broke the deadlock with a waza-ari and trapped her French rival on the ground to seal a place in the final in just 26 seconds.
The first bronze medal was won by Junior World Championships bronze medallist Kim Jisu (KOR) who defeated French hope Receveaux to win her first Grand Slam medal. The 17-year-old was the stronger fighter in golden score and took the contest and a place on the podium after four minutes of added time with a waza-ari score.
The second bronze medal was won by Smythe-Davis who bested Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Timna Nelson Levy (ISR) by ippon as the Londoner earned her first medal in Paris.
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