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Judo Yukon brings home hardware from Manitoba Open

Judo Yukon is three medals richer after the Manitoba Open.

Judo Yukon is three medals richer after the Manitoba Open.

The competition, which is part of the Canadian judo circuit, was held Oct. 14 to 16 with four Yukon judokas making their way to Winnipeg for the event, along with their coach Aaron Jensen.

Bringing home a silver in the U16 category was Lia Hinchey, while Jaymi Hinchey and Leah McLean both earned bronze in their U18 categories.

Liam Gishler finished fifth in his U18 category after dropping a very competitive match, Jensen said.

The event marked their first competition in what is shaping up to be a busy season. Jensen said that while the group is pleased to bring home the medals, the event was an opportunity to experience more competition as they get ready for the Canada Winter Games in February.

“Really, I had no expectations going in,” he said, noting this was the first competition of the season.

“Lots of provinces were competing and it was strong judo all around,” he said. “This tournament was an excellent training ground for the athletes – the medals were a bonus.”

Before the Manitoba competition, Team Yukon also took in a training camp in Vernon, British Columbia from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1. Jensen noted Judo Yukon wants to complement its competition schedule with training camps wherever possible, allowing athletes to experience Outside competition as well as learn new techniques and getting to know other athletes from other regions.

Next up for the team will be the Peak International Judo Tournament at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C. from Oct. 21 to 23.

Heading into that event, Jensen said each of the team members are working on individual goals and looking for improvements in those areas.

“Again, medals are not the priority,” he said.

After that, Judo Yukon will turn its focus more locally to Carcross as it gets set to host the Carcross Challenge at the Ghúch Tlâ Community School on Dec. 3. The event will mark the territory’s first Judo event since the COVID-19 pandemic put many events on-hold. Judokas from Faro, Ross River, Carmacks and Whitehorse are anticipated to participate.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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