Even when they send a small team to a competition the Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club still manages to win a whole host of medals.
Only five members of the club took part in the recent Saskatchewan Open tournament in Regina but still came away with nine medals.
Considering the number of high-calibre competitors at the event, including some with international experience, the fact local players were able to perform so well was quite impressive, according to coach Cliff Wiens.
“There were a lot of excellent players from all over the country and while our fighters didn’t have to face many of them, they still gave a very good accounting of themselves,” Wiens said.
“It shows how much many of our fighters have improved despite competing for a very short time.”
The tournament was another good showing for Team Saskatchewan judo members Kailey Large and Stephanie Legault who will represent the province at the Canada Games which begin Feb. 20 in Corner Brook, Nfld.
Large ended up winning gold in the Juvenile Women’s under-52 kilogram division as well as silver in the Junior Women’s under-52 kilogram division.
One of her competitors in the Junior Division was a member of the Manitoba Canada Games team and even though the Manitoban was older and had much more experience, Large was still able to hold her own.
“I think that match really showed how much Kailey has improved. She went up against someone who was a very experienced competitor and pretty much took her to the limit,” Wiens said.
Large defeated Legault in the final of the Juvenile Women’s Division, where Legault was fighting “just to get experience against larger and stronger competitors,” Wiens explained.
Fighting in her own weight class posed little difficulty for Legault as she easily won gold in the under-48 kilogram class.
Mark Pivovar, a black belt in the sport, had a strong performance in the Senior Men’s Advanced Division. He won bronze in the under-81 kilogram class to go with another third place finish in the under-90 kilogram division.
Brian Smith won gold in the Juvenile Men’s 74 kilogram class, along with silver in the Junior Men’s Division.
Steven Erickson was a silver medalist in the Junior Men’s under-90 kilogram division.
Next action for the club will be next weekend when they travel to Swift Current.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Feb 2, 1999