Montreal, May 20, 2017 – Jessica Klimkait was the only Canadian to step onto the podium on Saturday at the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam in Russia, claiming a bronze medal in the U57 kg division.
“I fought pretty well today. I’m happy because it’s my first Grand Slam medal!” she exclaimed.
The judoka from Whitby had a great start to her day, throwing both of her opponents in the preliminary rounds. However, things did not go as smoothly for her in her semi-final bout against Japan’s Nae Udaka, who won by ippon. Klimkait then rolled up her sleeves and came back ready to fight in the bronze medal final, which she won with two waza-aris against Daria Mezhetckaia of Russia.
“In the semi-final, my opponent had a good strategy against me and I couldn’t control the game. I had to increase my intensity. At the Pan American Championships a few weeks ago, I defeated today’s winner, Miryam Roper of Panama. I know that if I had made it to the final today, it would probably have gone well for me,” added Klimkait.
Near Misses for Three Canadians
“Guica, Margelidon, and Tremblay all had very good chances of stepping onto the podium. All three started the day very strong but just missed out on a medal,” noted Sasha Mehmedovic, National Women’s Coach.
Montreal’s Ecaterina Guica (U52 kg) placed fifth in her division. Her record in the preliminary round consisted of one victory and one defeat. In the repechage, she ousted Darya Skrypnik of Belarus by ippon. In the bronze medal final, however, France’s Amandine Buchard quickly showed Guica the door, scoring an ippon after only 13 seconds.
Saguenay’s Stéfanie Tremblay (U63 kg) also finished in fifth position. After one win and one loss in the preliminaries, she outmanoeuvred her opponent, Diana Dzhigaros of Russia, to score ippon in the repechage. Unfortunately, she was not able to hold out through the bronze medal final, where Mariana Silva of Brazil claimed the victory.
“This was a good result considering she’s coming back from an injury she suffered in April. She had a close match in the bronze medal fight but ended up losing by a penalty in golden score,” explained Mehmedovic.
Arthur Margelidon (U73 kg) had a strong start to his day, with two victories in as many bouts, but his streak ended in the semi-final, where Soichi Hashimoto of Japan, the eventual gold medal winner, stopped him with an ippon. Margelidon, of Montreal, faced a second defeat in his bronze medal match against Benjamin Axus of France and finished in fifth place.
“He started off strong against his French opponent by scoring a waza-ari, but then got countered and pinned for an ippon after attempting a throw,” concluded Mehmedovic.
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (U57 kg) and Bradley Langlois (U73 kg) did not rank.