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Local Judo athletes win big at out of province tournaments

A group of local athletes have brought some new hardware home to the city. Five students from Hoku Sei Kan Judo Club in Grande Prairie recently returned from two tournaments in Montreal and Toronto where they brought back four medals between them.

Athlete Michelle Grisales came home with a gold medal from the Ontario Open in the under-18, 52-kilogram category. she says she was excited she won.

“I feel pretty happy. I was really happy when I won the gold and I feel proud of myself.”

While on the road, the athletes went to the Quebec Open in Montreal on November 3rd and 4th and the Ontario Open in Toronto on November 10th and 11th. Both tournaments attract athletes from across Canada, the United States and overseas. They also spent an extra week in Montreal training at the National Judo Training Camp.

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Sydney Kinderwater brought back two bronze medals in the U18 and U16, 57-kilogram category at the Ontario Open. She considers that tournament a success.

“It was really fun, we went last year too but this year I was a lot more successful. I came out with two medals from the Ontario Open… It was my first u-18 medal. I left in total with Quebec and Ontario winning eight fights and losing five or six so it was pretty successful.”

Sydney is now focusing on her next competition. She’s headed to the provincial championships in Red Deer in February.

Michelle was also recently named U16 female athlete of the year for Judo Alberta. She now turns her attention to training for the Canada Winter Games in February where she will be representing the province.

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