The Hatashita International Judo Tournament was this past weekend and by all accounts it was a huge success.

Monday November 26th, 2007
The tournament which took place at the impressive Hershey Centre not far from the Toronto airport (which made access easy for those from out of town) was an excellent venue for a tournament of this magnitude. It all started on Friday night at the posh Delta Chelsea hotel where athletes were able to weigh in and officials were welcomed with pre-made passes. Quickly and efficiently people were greeted which gave everybody time to settle in. Saturday morning the tournament started on time! What a great way to start the weekend of competition. The rest of the weekend followed suit and was filled with great judo at an event that was run like a Swiss watch. On time, efficient and with class. Some highlights include: * 5 Full size IJF regulation mat areas. * On time start and early finish. This is a real testament to the commitment and skill of the organizers who processed a large number of fighters. * $500 awarded to every senior division winner. * $1000 awarded to the Grand Champion. * Samurai swords awarded to winners: division including junior, senior and masters * Grand Champion Division- Open weight, age, belt division with the winner receiving $1000, name on the Hatashita Cup and a samurai sword. * Early finish on Sunday to allow traveling teams to get on the road. * Scott Edwards won the Grand Champion division and the $1000. * Hatashita Cup was awarded to Scott. There is an amazing history behind this cup that dates back to the 1930's where it was awarded by the Kodokan to the best Canadian judoka. It was later awarded to Frank Hatashita when he was only 15 years old, it survived WWII, survived several fires albeit in many pieces, was in storage for the past 15 years and finally resurfaced to be reconditioned by Frank Hatashita's son Eric and is now the coveted award that will have the Grand Champions name engraved. * Mizuno judogi and other judo gear were for sale at a huge discount. * Other items that made this one of the best tournaments in the world: free tournament posters for everyone, VIP booth serving sushi and beer, free Krispy Kreme donuts in the coaches corner w/coffee, 6' big screen scoreboard, coaches (not school buses) were used to move athletes and coaches from hotel to venue, electronic draws and good food for volunteers and referees. Big things are already being planned for next year. Look for next year's news release and plan to attend to the best tournament in North America. Results can be found at

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