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Yukon judokas capture hardware in Anchorage, Edmonton

Seven medals in Anchorage and four in Edmonton - not bad for a weekend's work.

Seven medals in Anchorage and four in Edmonton - not bad for a weekend’s work.

With athletes competing at the Alaska State Judo Championships in Anchorage and the Edmonton International Judo Championships, Judo Yukon won 11 medals on the weekend of March 31.

“I know most of the kids learned, made new friends and enjoyed the overall experience of travelling, and competing in an Outside tournament and are looking forward to do it again,” wrote Judo Yukon president Dan Poelman in an email to the News.

“Given the size of the teams and the majority of them were first-timers to either tournaments, most of us were very happy with the results,” he wrote.

Among the Yukon results were three first-place finishes.

For the second year in a row, yellowbelt Jerry Miller, of Whitehorse’s Shiroumakai Judo Club, won his division at the Alaska championships.

“Jerry seizes opportunities with confidence in a quick manner,” wrote Poelman. “Jerry proved himself (and) did well again and this time against higher ranking belts.”

In Edmonton, Yukoners Emiko Teramura and Jadon Leenders both took first in their divisions.

“Emiko Teramura is a quick yellowbelt learner from Shiroumakai (club in Whitehorse) in her first-ever Outside tournament,” wrote Poelman.

“Emiko is another confident student with good techniques. Despite a recurring basketball injury that occurred in final for gold, she continued on and quickly pinned her opponent.

“Jadon Leenders is a yellow-orangebelt with Hiroshikai Judo Club. Jadon was the veteran going to his second Edmonton tournament. With competition from as far away as Nunavut, Jadon won his matches with throws and hold-downs to capture first place.”

Winning silvers for Judo Yukon in Anchorage were Cassandra Jensen, Thomas Dickson and Marc-Andre Lavigne. Taking bronze were Kirsty Sibbeston and Antoine Broeckx.

Also reaching the podium in Edmonton were Kaajineek Neumann and Paige Poelman, both placing third in the respective divisions.

Judo Yukon also nabbed a pair of fourth-place finishes in Edmonton. Sandy Neumann took two fourth places, one as an individual competitor and another teamed up with Dan in Kata (patterns).

Local judokas are now gearing up for their season-closing Yukon Judo Open on May 5 at the Canada Games Centre. Last year’s open saw 16 Alaskans compete, making the event international for the first time since the early 1990s.

Contact Tom Patrick at