Whitby’s Klimkait earns history-making Olympic bronze in Judo

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Published July 26, 2021 at 1:36 pm

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Whitby’s Jessica Klimkait became the first Canadian woman to win an Olympic medal in Judo when she scored a waza-ari in the bronze medal match against Kaja Kajzer of Slovenia early Monday morning.

Ranked number one in the world going into the Olympic tournament by virtue of her World Championship victory this year, Klimkait earned a bye in the first round and opened her competition ledger with victories over Ivelina Ilieva of Bulgaria (ippon) and Julia Kowalczyk of Poland (ippon) before meeting Sarah Leonie Cysique of France in the semi-final.

Neither judokan could score in the bout and both were penalized for various infractions. A third penalty – called a shido – was given to Klimkait during extra time, costing her the match.

Klimkait faced Kaja Kajzer in the bronze medal bout and scored the victory in extra, or Golden Score time, with a decisive waza-ari.

Canadian judoka have won five Olympic medals before, but all by men. The last was a bronze by Antoine Valois-Fortier in London in 2012.

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