The Kokoro Judo Club in 100 Mile House had seven members compete at the 2013 Canadian Judo Championships in Richmond, July 4-7.
Ali Briggs, who is registered with Kokoro, but attends University of Lethbridge, won a silver medal in the women’s 52-kilogram under 21 years division.
She also fought up a class in the senior women’s division for bronze, but had to settle for fourth.
Aidan Fentiman, a Kokoro blue belt, won a match but did not succeed in making it to a medal round.
Other club members who competed at nationals were Jesse Chamberlain, Richard Tracey, Paige Hall, Mason Peters and Reid Collinson.
Coach Ian Briggs says all of his students fit in well with the competition.
“Our athletes, going in with their level of experience and level of belts, did incredibly well. For little 100 Mile House to send so many competitors to the nationals was incredible.”
As the host province, British Columbia was allowed to enter more competitors than the other provinces, but all had to meet the selection criteria.
“We’re fortunate so many got to go. This experience will set them up for the next few years.”
The top 2 result for Ali Briggs secured her a spot on Team Canada for its European tour, July 22-Aug. 4 during which she will compete at tournaments in Prague and Berlin. In Prague, she will also attend a training camp with her team and other elite judo athletes.
The first stop is the national training centre in Montreal, says Ali.
“This trip is very exciting for me. I hope it will be the first of many international competitions.”
Her goal this year was to place in the top 2 at Canadian nationals so she could compete in Europe.
“I’ve made it. I’ve trained hard this year and this trip is really something of a reward. I have no doubt the competition will be very tough, and I look forward to my first try on the international stage.”
The 19-year-old was a national bronze medallist in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
She has participated in judo since the age of 12, also winning gold at the 2010 British Columbia Winter Games and silver at the 2011 BC Judo Championships.