A trip to a national championship is a great chance to test yourself against the best in the country.
Unfortunately for Moose Jaw's Chad Griffin, the luck of the draw meant he got to face two of the best junior under-51 kilogram judo competitors in the country in his first trip to nationals.
Those odds were a little too long for the 15-year-old Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club competitor, but he will surely learn from the experience and a week of national-level training in Mississauga, Ont.
"It was tough," said Griffin. "I had a bad draw and got stuck with two really good people."
The two Quebec judoka Griffin had to battle ended up finishing second and third in the country. While Griffin was disappointed, his coaches at Judo Sask were pleased with how he handled himself against some tough competition.
"The coaches were saying that I stood strong," said Griffin.
He'll continue to learn at team training this week as national team coaches instruct the competitors.
Griffin described that experience as "tiring" but said he is learning a lot from the high-level instruction.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald July 8, 2008