Whitehorse Daily Star

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YOUNG JUDOKAS – Members of Team Yukon at the Pacific International Judo Championships Apr. 17 in Richmond, B.C. Left to right: Liam Gishler, Jaymi Hinchey, Lia Hinchey, Leah McLean.

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BRILLIANT BRONZE – Jaymi (left) and Lia Hinchey display their bronze medals at the Pacific International Judo Championships Apr. 17 in Richmond, B.C.

Yukon sisters win bronze medals in judo competition

Two Yukon sisters, Jaymi and Lia Hinchey, won bronze at the Pacific International Judo Championships in Richmond, B.C. recently.

By freelancer on May 10, 2022

Two Yukon sisters, Jaymi and Lia Hinchey, won bronze at the Pacific International Judo Championships in Richmond, B.C. recently.

The Judo Yukon Competition development team left Whitehorse April 15 to attend the competition.

The event, typically held in the Olympic Oval, had been postponed due to COVID, then rescheduled in the Richmond Community Centre's "Net Shed".

A total of 733 participants completed over two days (some in more than one division).

Liam Gishler placed fourth in his U16M -155 kg category, Jaymi Hinchey was third in U16F -57 kg, Lia Hinchey was third in U16F -52 kg and Leah McLean did not place in the U16F, -63 kg category.

Monday, April 18, the team was joined by two other judoka that could not compete in the weekend event to attend a training camp in Abbotsford. Judo B.C, hosted teams from Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Yukon until Thursday, when they flew to Edmonton for a second competition, the Edmonton International Judo Championships, the end of what is referred to as the "Western Judo Tour".

Edmonton saw another 929 participants over three days of competition. Saturday, Bernard Briggs competed in the Veteran Men's 45-50 -81 kg division, where he had a close first match loss, then a second round loss to a 5th degree black belt, three-time Olympian Ludwig Ortiz from Venezuela (now living in Quebec).

Liam Gishler had two losses in the U18M -55 kg division, and Huxley Briggs went without a win in the U14M -38 kg division.

Hard fought matches by all, with much experience gained.

Sunday saw the U12, U16 and senior division matches.

Liam Gishler was in U16M -55 kg, and had a record of two wins and two losses.

Huxley Briggs was in the U16 -38 kg and went 1-3 to take fourth place.

Bernard Briggs was in the senior mens yellow-blue belt -81 kg and had an impressive record of three wins with two losses to place fourth.

Leah Mclean was U16F -63 kg, with a one win, two loss record to take fourth.

Jaymi Hinchey was once again in the U16F-57 kg, losing her first match, then winning two consecutive, only to once again meet her first opponent from Ontario, losing again to take fourth.

Lia Hinchey was much the same, losing her first match, winning the next two, then suffering a second loss, taking fifth.

Northern Lights judo club had an U12 compete in Edmonton as well. Eli Kiriak placed in the fair play divisions of U12 M on Saturday, in the 52 kg division. A win/loss record is not recorded. There is a run time of two minutes in pools of four or five, with a round-robin format (everyone gets the same number of matches, versus all in the pool). All competitors received gold metals as participants.

All in all, it was a very successful tour, with the competitors gaining invaluable experience both in competition matches, plus the training camp, where the athletes got to learn from high profile coaches.

Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. all had paid coaches in attendance, sharing their knowledge with the athletes.

To show the level of experience, Quebec's HP coach, Sergio Pessoa Sr., once competed internationally for Brazil.

The Ontario HP coach, An Jeong-Hwan, from South Korea, was a bronze medalist at the world championships in 2009.

Saskatchewans's HP coach, Michael Horley, from the UK, once represented Great Britain on the world stage.

Alberta's Ewan Beaton was a participant in the 1992 Olympic Games in U60 kg and the World Championships from 1991-1995 and a Pan Am Games champion.

B.C.'s Jeremy Le Bris once represented France on the world stage, just to name a few that were on the mats.

In November of 2022, Team Yukon plans to attend the "Eastern Judo Tour" that starts with the Quebec Open Judo Championship, followed by a National training camp at the National Training Centre in Montreal, and accumulates with the Ontario Open, location to be announced.

-Submitted by Aaron Jensen.

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