Canada’s Jessica Klimkait defeated top-ranked Timna Nelson Levy of Israel to grab the under-57 kilogram bronze medal at the judo world championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Saturday.
The athlete from Whitby, Ont., rebounded from an earlier loss in the tournament with a convincing effort against Nelson Levy, who Klimkait has now defeated in five consecutive fights.
“I knew my opponent really well and I knew I had to follow my game plan to the letter. To counter her strengths, I had to dictate the pace of the fight, using my own judo and my holds,” said the second-ranked Klimkait.
“That worked well from the very beginning, so I set my own pace. In the end, my holds made the difference for the win.”
After back-to-back wins to start the competition, Klimkait lost to South Korea’s Mimi Huh in the quarterfinals. As a result of being in the repechage, the 25-year-old Canadian defeated Eteri Liparteliani of Georgia in order to fight for bronze.
“Things didn’t start out the way I would have liked, but my quarterfinal loss gave me a chance to clear my head, dig a little deeper, and find motivation to make it to the podium,” Klimkait said.
“My main goal is to make it to the top of the podium, and I’ve got some things to work on. My objective is always to keep improving, and this competition will allow me to do exactly that.”
Klimkait was the reigning world champion entering the event and also won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.
Brazil’s Rafaela Silva won gold, while Japan’s Haruka Funakubo took silver. Enkhriilen Lkhagvatogoo of Mongolia defeated Huh in the other bronze medal final.
The Canadian Press