Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Manitoba pair medals in international judo

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TWO Steinbach women earned medals on the weekend at the 2009 Senior Pacific International Judo Championships in Vancouver.

France Blais-Shiokawa won gold in the 57-kilogram division, and Manon Soulard was the bronze-medal winner in the 63-kg division.

"My final match was against Breanne Mihalick from Calgary," Blais-Shiokawa said via email. "I had already fought her once in the junior nationals in 2008. It had been a tough match, but this time I got a yuko, and then went on to the complete duration of the match to win."

"I was a bit disappointed that there were not more people in my category," said the Grade 12 student at École Pointe-des-Chenes in Ste. Anne, who was one of only four competitors. "For example, there was no one from Quebec, but I'm very happy for the experience."

West Kildonan Judo Club member Maxim Kharitonov finished seventh in the senior men's 90-kg division. Both Blais-Shiokawa and Soulard remained in Vancouver to take part in a judo training camp.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 26, 2009 C4

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