With the possible exception of the video game store, most people at the West Edmonton Mall don't end up fighting other people for gold.
A total of 15 members of the Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club, however, did just that this weekend at the Edmonton International Judo Tournament March 15-16, taking place at the mall.
Young judoka like Devin Kiryk (cadet boys level 2, under 30 kg) and Taryn Montgomery (cadet girls level, under 34 kg) once again came through with gold medals, and Haley Walz also earned a gold medal in her age, level and weight.
"We were hoping they would do that well," said Koseikan coach Dan Orescanin. "I knew they could do that well if they fought well . . .
"Devin had five fights (with) competitors from all over the country and he did really well in all of them. Taryn just had one competitor, but she outweighed (Taryn) by 10 pounds. She still handled her pretty easily."
Walz had four other athletes in her category to win gold, and her sister Brianna Walz won silver at the cadet girls level two, under 34 kg level. Anakin Myers on a bronze medal for his performance in the cadet boys level 1, under 26 kg class.
Shane Kivol won gold in the senior men's yellow-bleu belt, under 73 kg category, winning all five of his fights.
"He fought the guy who had beaten him before in the final in Vancouver, Travis Brown. He beat him once and was beaten by him once, so it was kind of . . . the rubber match and Shane pulled it out," said Orescanin.
His improvement has been the result of some hard training, and Orescanin said they will be looking at promoting him.
"He's an orange belt now, and he's been beating a lot of green belts and blue belts, so it's probably time to promote him again," he said.
Next on the agenda for the club is a meet in Saskatoon near the end of the month, and one in Prince Albert.
"We're starting to do a lot of belt upgrading now, and starting to get the athletes graded before the end of the year, so they start next year up a level if they're ready," said Orescanin.
As for the meets, the club is anticipating on sending a full contingent to the Saskatoon meet.
"That's a pretty-well attended tournament because it's close," he said. "Most of our athletes go to that."
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald March 18, 2008