Thrilling judo on Day 1 of Montreal Grand Prix as Japan tops standingsComments
Hosted at the historic Montreal Olympic Park, Montreal’s inaugural Judo Grand Prix 2019 set off with high hopes for the home team.
And the -57kg final shaped up to be an all Canadian affair between Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkait, who were both on form in the preliminaries.
But it was Deguchi who claimed the gold medal, executing a fantastic strangle on her teammate, to score ippon and become our Woman of the Day.
The Canadian medals kept coming as Jacob Valois of Canada took his first World Tour medal after defeating Australia's Nathan Katz to win the -66kg bronze as the thrilled local crowd cheered him on.
The -66kg gold went to 2017 World Master champion Kherlen Ganbold of Mongolia after he defeated Kenneth Van Gansbeke of Belgium in the final.
Newly inducted as an IJF Ambassador Nadia Comaneci was in attendance, who in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games scored the first ever perfect 10 in gymnastics.
Comaneci watched on with IJF President Mr Marius Vizer, as Wakana Koga of Japan took gold at -48kg after defeating Catarina Costa of Portugal in the final.
Our Man of the Day is triple World Champion and Olympic Bronze medallist Naohisa Takato of Japan after storming through the preliminaries, dispatching all his opponents with a huge variety of techniques, showcasing different Judo styles. He faced Robert Mshvidobadze of Russia in the -60kg final. There he proved nothing could block his path to gold as he scored ippon with a stunning counter. It was a rematch of the World final from last year, and he showed he is still dominant.
Mr Marius Vizer presented Takato his gold medal.
The -52kg category saw Junior World Silver medallist Gefen Primo of Israel take the gold medal, defeating Angelica Delgado of the USA after a lengthy contest. She was thrilled to take her first ever IJF World Tour gold.
Move of the Day
Our Move of the Day came from Ireland's Nathon Burns who faced off against Imad Bassou of Morocco. An on-the-buzzer ippon securing him an -66kg bronze medal - his first ever on the IJF World Judo tour.
Japan leads medals table
Japan topped the medals standings table with two golds at the end of the first day of the three-day tournament, closely followed by hosts Canada with one gold, one silver and a bronze.