At the Melfort Judo Tournament, there were a lot of Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club athletes who made an appearance on the judo mat after many years of absence.
Derek Porter, one of the club's instructors who was helping seven of his students compete throughout the tournament, strapped on a gi himself and rolled around the mat in a competition setting for the first time in five years.
He finished third with three wins and two losses in a crowded under 100kg senior advanced division, not bad for the supposedly rusty competitor said Moose Jaw club coach Jim Wiens.
Another competitor who was absent from the mat for about half of a decade was 17-year-old Justin Filteau.
"Justin Filteau was probably the big 'wow,'" said Wiens. "This was his first tournament for a long time, since he was in elementary school. He kinda jumped in with both feet... three divisions he entered and ended up placing very well in all three of them."
Filteau finished third in the under 81kg, U20 division, second in the senior -90 novice and second in the Canada Games qualifier.
The Canada Games qualifier is a division that judo tournaments will include in their competitions and is used as a way to qualify for team Saskatchewan for the Jeux du Canada Winter Games in Halifax in February of 2011.
Damien Wiens and Sara Wiens finished second and fourth respectively in the U11 unisex division, Stephan Edwards was fourth in the U15 division, and Eryn Langdon and Madelaine Stitch were second and fourth in the U15 female division.
"All of our athletes did very well," said Wiens. "We didn't have anybody finish below fourth."
Those who decided to go to the Melfort Tournament did so to get one last competition in before the Edmonton International Judo Championship March 19-21. From the Moose Jaw club alone, 19 members will be visiting this massive tournament.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Mach 9, 2010