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Sensational win of Faiza Mokdar against Deguchi

Sensational win of Faiza Mokdar against Deguchi

2 Feb 2024 20:40
IJF Media team by Nicolas Messner and JudoInside
Klaus Müller / Watch:

What a sensation in the last final of the Grand Slam in Paris at the first day with youngster Faiza Mokdar against World Champion Christa Deguchi in the U57kg division. Deguchi was the big favourite together with her final Jessica Klimkair. These two have delighted us for several years, each achieving their respective success and the victories of one over the other being shared between the two champions. The French had Sarah Leonie Cysique, but the day went differently.

The Olympic race between Deguchi and Klimkait is worthy of the greatest series with many twists and turns. Looking at the draw, we could once again imagine a 100% Canadian final. This was without taking into consideration the French judoka Faiza Mokdar, who although swimming in the depths of the world rankings, (71) had the desire to perform in Paris. Only 22 years old, Mokdar, as we know, is a promising judoka who has already obtained two bronze medals from grand slams, in Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, but reaching the final in Paris, with an audience committed to her cause, is a new stage. She is coached by former Olympic bronze medallist Automne Pavia.

In the final, Mokdar had to face the second Canadian judoka of the day and not the lesser of the two, since it was Deguchi who qualified without suffering. Mokdar had absolutely nothing to lose and her first attack was incredibly strong and unstoppable. With a huge shoulder movement, she sent Deguchi to the ground with force, speed and control; a perfect ippon. A mistake by Deguchi, sure, but no problem for the long term, it's judo. Mokdar, who is number four in France, who had never before reached the final of a World Judo Tour event, won in Paris and this is something special. The French judoka had the perfect day, the kind of day that happens only in Paris. This is the third gold medal for France on day one.

In the semi-final, the tiny Frenchwoman was opposed by former world champion and Olympic medallist Jessica Klimkait. Blocking the Canadian in all her ippon-seoi-nage actions, Mokdar gained the upper hand and pushed Klimkait to make mistakes twice. In the golden score period, slowing the pace, it was Mokdar who was in turn penalised before she won with a superb ippon which triggered an ovation throughout the stadium.

The first bronze medal contest could easily have been a world or Olympic final, between Olympic champion Nora Gjakova (KOS) and Olympic bronze medallist Jessica Klimkait. Klimkait was under the pressure of her opponent but maybe this is when she is best. As she seemed to be totally controlled, she dived under Gjakova’s centre of gravity with her shoulder movement and scored a tiny waza-ari, as Gjakova landed on one shoulder. That was enough to label the bronze medal for Klimkait. She is not first but still around, looking for a wrong step from Deguchi. The wrong step happened in the final but still Deguchi is ahead of Klimkait. We are waiting for the next episode.

France hoped for a second medal in this decidedly tough category, with Sarah Leonie Cysique (FRA) opposing Marica Perisic (SRB) for a bronze medal. The beginning of the contest looked quite balanced, until Cysique applied a counter-attack with a great te-waza for ippon. The bronze medal was for Cysique.

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