Hay River judoka wins gold before heading to Europe

Hay River’s star judoka has added another gold medal performance to his name.

Mason Bruneau walked away from the Pacific International Judo Championships in Richmond B.C., on Feb. 20 with a first place title. Yellowknife’s Gabrielle Desforges also placed on top of her division. 

Both athletes won all of their respective fights in their weight and age categories.

Bruneau was the only athlete registered in the under-20 class so he fought in the intermediate senior division.

He fought two over-100 kilogram opponents and won both fights by ippon, or one full point, which is the highest score a fighter can achieve.

Desforges fought in the under-20 female division and won all her fights in the under-63 kilogram group.

This was Bruneau’s last fight before he heads to Europe in March to compete with the rest of the Canadian National Team in the European Union Judo Junior Cup.

Both Desforges and Bruneau will be travelling to Portugal and then Germany to fight on an international level.

“They are heading to Europe in March with a little bit of experience and success,” said NWT Judo Association head coach Mario Desforges. “The level of competition they will face there is really high. (Last) weekend, they just took all the experience they could to fight at their best in Europe.”