June 8th 2021 - A DATE TO REMEMBER
Prior to the 2021 IJF world championships Jessica Klimkait knew full well the task ahead of her, a head to head battle with teammate Christa Deguchi for Tokyo 2020 Olympic nomination.
It was an event that would test the upper limits of both athletes mental and physical capabilities and with both athletes drawn on opposite sides of the competition, we braced ourselves for a titanic clash in the -57kg final.
Klimkait methodically made her way towards the final, beating Miriam Roper (PAN), Odelin-Garcia (CUB), Stoll (GER) in the preliminary rounds. In the semi-final she defeated Gjakova (KOS) by ippon, to await her final opponent Tamaoki (JPN), who upset number one seed Deguchi (CAN) in the other semi-final match.
The final against Tamaoki started at a blistering pace and continued throughout, with both athletes constantly searching for the winning score. Jessica showed her class just over a minute into Golden Score, breaking the deadlock and scoring wazari with a beautifully timed attack against her Japanese opponent, leaping in delight with her victory, not from surprise but maybe from relief.
With her victory not only does she regain her world #1 ranking and ascend to the top of the world podium but she also becomes only the second Canadian ever to be crowned World Champion.
Today Jessica showed everyone a glimpse of her true potential and clearly and emphatically announced to the world
- SHE IS READY FOR TOKYO.
Congratulations Jessica! World Champion! We are all so very proud of you!