Selkirk Judo Club

Damien Ekosky Travels to US Tournaments, Wins Gold in Florida

After winning a Canadian championship in May, Damien Ekosky (15, brown belt) finished his tournament season with trips to two major US tournaments.  These were his first forays into tournaments in the United States.          

Damien competed at the US Summer Nationals held on July 4 – 6 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The tournament featured almost 1100 competitors from across the United States, and from Canada, Ireland, Japan and other countries.  Following the Canadian nationals, Damien has moved up both an age division (from U16 to U18) and a weight division (from under 60 kg to under 66 kg).  In the United States, the category is actually U19.  In Damien’s U19 under 66 kg division at US Nationals, there were a total of 23 competitors in his division.  He fought well, going the distance with the eventual silver medallist in his first match.  He finished with 1 win and 2 losses and did not place in the medals. 

Damien returned to Manitoba for a couple of weeks of training to prepare for his last event of the season, the US Junior Open in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  The tournament was held on July 26 – 27.  On Saturday, July 26, he competed in the U19 under 66 kg division which featured 28 competitors from the US and Canada, but also from as far away as Sweden and the Ukraine.  Damien was not able to advance to the medal rounds in this tough division.

Damien came back strong on Sunday, July 27.  In the Golden Score competition, Damien came away with a gold medal after 4 straight wins.  In a regular judo match, a fighter must score a full point (ippon) to end the match before time expires.  In a Golden Score match, any point (ippon or less) automatically wins the match. 

His latest win leaves him with a total of 12 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals this season. 

“Damien had some well fought matches at these tournaments.  He had some tough divisions as he moves up a weight and age division, but he is showing great attitude in facing those challenges, ” said one of the club’s coaches, Brian Jones.  “After a couple of tough divisions in Hawaii and Florida, it was great to see him finish his season with a gold in his last competition day of the season.”