by Sarah LeMay
Over the weekend, when most people were celebrating Canada Day, two local athletes were at The Canada Cup, Canada’s first-ever International Judo Federation-sanctioned tournament.
Athletes Solomon Choran and Ron Hanji of The Art of Balance Dojo in Etobicoke both competed very well, but Choran successfully won the bronze medal in his division, which means he is now ranked in the top 100 judo athletes in the world. “Solomon fought incredibly well, but unfortunately, he was unable to beat Gilberto Cardoso of Mexico, who is a top-ten ranked fighter, in the semi-final”, said his coach, Josh Hagen.
Sensei Josh Hagen was also called upon at the tournament to coach Sebastian Nash of Prince Edward Island, who took a bronze medal in the Under 18 division, Skylar Hattendorf of New Hampshire, who took a bronze medal in the Under 16 division, and Ari Berliner of New York, who also took a bronze medal in the Under 21 division.
“All in all, it was a successful weekend for the athletes, but there is still room for improvement”, says Hagen.
The team is looking forward to a week of judo camp on Prince Edward Island at the end of August, where they will train with their East Coast counterparts under the aegis of Judo PEI, and where their own Sensei will act as the camp’s head coach for the second Summer in a row. They will return to their regular training and competition schedule immediately following the camp.
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