Jessica Klimkait and Christa Deguchi proved once again on Friday that they truly are the pinnacle of the under 57kg category as they both met in the final of the Judo Grand Slam in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Deguchi, the reigning world champion, managed to win this match by remaining patient and forcing her opponent to make mistakes. Klimkait was penalized twice in the first 75 seconds of the match.

It is finally a third shido against Klimkait which will have brought the victory to Christa Deguchi.

“Jessica and Christa were compelling throughout the day. In the final, my role is more erased, I don’t want to intervene and I just supervise their warm-up. It was a tactical fight in the final that was played on penalties and it was Christa who finally had the advantage,” said national coach Antoine Valois-Fortier.

To reach the day’s final, Deguchi first enjoyed a first-round bye before overcoming South Korea’s Eunsong Park and United Arab Emirates’ Altantsetseg Batsukh. She then got the better of neutral international athlete Kseniia Galitskaia, future bronze medalist, in the semi-finals.

“Christa can be proud of her victory, it’s a big step in a long process that will lead us to the Paris Olympics. I imagine that she is very happy with her day. It certainly adds a little extra stress to face a compatriot like that, but they are both among the best in the world and it’s great to see them face each other frequently, “said Valois-Fortier.

For her part, Klimkait got the better of the Latvian Anastasija Sokirjanska, the Briton Nekoda Smythe-Davis and the South Korean Mimi Huh, also a future bronze medalist, to join her compatriot for the ultimate confrontation.

“Jessica set her pace in her first three encounters and she made solid throws to win. She was impressive until the end,” added the coach.

This is the first Grand Slam gold medal for Christa Deguchi since her conquest in Baku in November 2022.

During the last meeting between the two Canadians, it was Klimkait who won the grand final of the Tel Aviv Grand Slam last February.

Also in action on Friday in Ulaanbaatar, Kelly Deguchi (-52kg) was defeated in her only fight of the day by Gal-Od Tserentogtokh of Mongolia. Israeli Gefen Primo won the gold medal in the category.

On Saturday, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-63 kg) and François Gauthier-Drapeau (-81 kg) will be in action in the capital of Mongolia.

Louis Krieber-Gagnon (-90 kg) and Kyle Reyes (-100 kg) will tread the tatamis on Sunday.