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Is Deguchi the Olympic champion in waiting?
1 Feb 2020 07:30
World champion, world number one and defending Paris Grand Slam champion Christa Deguchi (CAN) is quite simply the judoka to beat in the U57kg category. Deguchi, 24, recorded one of the greatest season’s in IJF World Judo Tour history in 2019 as she won Grand Slams in Paris and Ekaterinburg, a Grand Prix in Montreal, the Pan American Championships and the World Championships.
Canada’s first world judo champion, who is still based in Japan, defeated defending champion and her former teammate Yoshida Tsukasa (JPN) to claim her crown and holds a 2-1 record against Japan’s number one pick in the category.
Deguchi will undoubtedly be installed as the favourite for Tokyo 2020 gold if she can retain her Paris title.
World Judo Masters bronze medallist Jessica Klimkait (CAN), five-time Grand Prix winner Nora Gjakova (KOS), Olympic bronze medallist Telma Monteiro (POR) and Osaka Grand Slam winner Tamaoki Momo (JPN) will all be in action while former world champion Dorjsuren Sumiya (MGL) will be particularly dangerous from her unseeded position.
The judoka that Deguchi would be most concerned about, World Judo Masters winner Kim, Jin A (PRK), who beat the Canadian in her opening contest at the Masters, will not be in Paris and that will be a rematch to look out for in 2020.
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