Michael Akbashev at the Canada Winter Games and as Shalom Square Youth Ambassador last summer

By BERNIE BELLAN
Sixteen-year-old Michael Akbashev is rapidly becoming known for his prowess on judo mats. Two weeks ago he earned a bronze medal in the under-81 kg. class at the Canada Winter Games, held in Red Deer, Alberta. (The Canada Winter Games are open to athletes 21 years of age and under.)

 

 


Michael was the youngest competitor in his category. As of the time of writing he was still in Red Deer, awaiting the closing ceremonies of the games. I told him that when he’s back in Winnipeg I will want to do a full-length interview with him.
Thank you to Aaron Pfeffer, another well-known judoka, for alerting me to Michael’s recent success. Aaron also informed me that Michael is being trained by former judo champion Mark Berger.
 As a side note I should mention that in our preview of Shalom Square last August we gave the following information about Michael: He moved to Canada (from Israel) two years ago, along with his parents and two younger brothers. In the short time he has lived here he has already accumulated a terrific record of success in his age category, as a member of the Manitoba Judo Team: 3rd place in Canada in 2017, 2nd place in the USA in 2017, and Canadian champion in 2018. He was selected by Judo Canada as an Elite Athlete in 2018 and 2019 and by Judo Manitoba as the best youth athlete in 2018.