Medical student head of class in judo

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:04 PM ET

Rashad Chin has broken the bones of several opponents during his judo career.

In a few years, he'll be the one in charge of repairing those really nasty breaks.

Not only is the 23-year-old Chin one of the province's top judokas, but he's also enrolled in the University of Manitoba's medical school with the goal of becoming a surgeon.

That makes for quite the hectic schedule, but Chin still found time yesterday to win gold in the 60-68 kg weight class at the Manitoba Judo Open, which also serves as the provincial championships, at the U of M's Frank Kennedy Centre.

"Sometimes (either school or judo) gets neglected, but sometimes it helps both, because a couple times this week I wasn't really into school. I wasn't really as focused on the medical career," Chin said. "We just had an exam and I wanted to get over it, so coming to practice was sort of like a stress breaker.

"I could let off some frustration and get my body working, and then the next day I went back to school and I was nice and relaxed and I could learn again. They complement each other."

Judo Manitoba, meanwhile, does a little dance, because having Chin in its stable provides nothing but positives for the program.

Mark Berger, a Winnipegger who won bronze at the 1984 Summer Olympics, coaches Chin and can't say enough about his work ethic and integrity.

"He is unique in that he is combining sport with high education, so I have very big respect that he can combine sports and be at medical school at the same time," Berger said. "Not many people can do that.

"... It's an advantage for the whole program, because he has experience, he's very smart, and he's leading by example. He's doing good in the sport and in education."

Chin is actually from Alberta, but when he moved to Manitoba last year to attend the U of M, he switched allegiances and will now compete for the Keystone province in national competitions.

He could have continued to compete for Alberta while living in Manitoba, but he decided to change his provincial affiliation.

Moe Oye, a seventh-degree black belt who coached Berger at the Olympics and is still mentoring with the U of M club, is happy to have a judoka like Chin on board.

"He has true judo talent," Oye said. "He's got good technique, or waza. We call that waza in Japan."

Chin, who is a second-degree black belt, hopes to parlay that waza and work ethic into a medal at the national judo championships, which will be held at Winnipeg's Convention Centre in May.


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