Yukon judokas clean up in Edmonton

A big team got big results for Judo Yukon over the weekend. Eighteen Yukon judokas competed at the Edmonton International Judo Championships at the West Edmonton Mall and 14 left with medals.

A big team got big results for Judo Yukon over the weekend.

Eighteen Yukon judokas competed at the Edmonton International Judo Championships at the West Edmonton Mall and 14 left with medals.

The Yukon team captured nine gold, one silver and four bronze at the giant meet featuring over 700 judokas, coming from as far away as Japan.

“We had a bigger team and came home with more medals,” said Judo Yukon president Dan Poelman. “This was our biggest team yet, an 18-member team, so it was good. We’re very happy.”

Last year the Yukon team left Edmonton with three fewer medals.

“We’re very, very pleased,” said Poelman. “We had some tough competition. We had some categories as big as 12 people.”

Sunday was a particularly good day for Judo Yukon. The team had eight judokas compete and all eight won gold.

Yukon’s Eban Basnett, Jerome Hoeden, Cassie Jensen, Kaajineek Neumann, Alan Johnson, Tai McCelland and Scottie James-Shephard all placed first in the various under-11 divisions, while Aodhan Nowell was golden in under-nine.

Hannah King dominated in all her matches on her way to taking gold in the under-13 girls, under-48-kilogram category for the Yukon’s only gold on Saturday.

“Our Rookie of the Year is probably going to be Hannah (King),” said Poelman. “She’s a first-timer and she got a gold on Saturday. She was in under-13 girls and did really, really well. She’s a strong competitor.”

Jadon Leenders, who won gold in Edmonton last year, met a tough opponent in his gold medal bout and walked away with silver in under-11 boys.

Yukon’s Emi Teramura fought through eight bouts and teammate Paige Poelman through six to take bronzes in their respective divisions on Saturday.

Shiroumakai Judo Club sensei Aaron Jensen and Northern Light Judo Club sensei Sandy Neumann both captured bronze for their kata performance on Friday.

Local judokas will be back in action for the Yukon Judo Championships on May 4 in Whitehorse before heading to the Alaska state championships in Anchorage later in the month.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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