Montreal, October 26, 2017 – Jessica Klimkait put in an admirable performance on Thursday, where she finished fifth in the -57 kg weight category at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, being held in the United Arab Emirates. Although she did not make it onto the podium, the Whitby, Ontario native was a force to be reckoned with for two of the best athletes in the world.
“I’m not very happy with my day,” stated Klimkait, without beating around the bush. “I know I could have won the bouts I lost. I’ll have to make changes to my training regimen so that I don’t repeat the same mistakes. My eyes were opened today. I know what my abilities are. I can’t say I’m proud of my day, but if I look on the bright side, my errors can be corrected.”
In today’s fight for one of two bronze medals, the reigning Pan-American -57 kg champion was defeated by Britain’s Nekoda Smythe-Davis, bronze medallist at the recent World Championships.
In the semi-final, Canada’s representative put up a good fight against the champion of the Rio Olympics, Brazil’s Rafaela Silva, but lost by waza-ari.
“I had fought her before and I was feeling confident. I missed a few chances to score in the first two minutes.”
In the first and second rounds, Klimkait disposed of Darya Skrypnik of Belarus and Daria Mezhetskaia of Russia.
“Her decisions cost her dearly in the matches she lost. That being said, it’s sometimes necessary to be made aware of our own weaknesses so that we can work on them in training,” noted Canadian coach Michel Almeida.
“Knowing Jessica’s work ethic, I’m convinced that she’ll be right back in training. She’s got what it takes to compete at this level. She’s only 20 years old. She still has to gain experience. It’s only a matter of time.”
In her only match of the day, Canada’s newest recruit and former Japanese competitor Christa Deguchi bowed out to Mongolia’s Sumiya Dorjsuren, the current world champion, in other -57 kg action.
“It should be noted that Deguchi lost in overtime after having been in the lead at times. Although the result doesn’t reflect it, her performance was far from disappointing,” explained Almeida.
Dorjsuren defeated Silva in the gold medal final.
Ecaterina Guica (-52 kg) lost her first match of the day to Britain’s Kelly Edwards.
Emily Burt (-63 kg), Arthur Margelidon (-73 kg), and Étienne Briand (-81 kg) will represent Canada on the tatamis on Friday.
Written Sportcom for Judo Canada