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New West judokas win team gold at 2024 BC Winter Games

The two New West teens that competed at Lhtako Quesnel landed on top of the podium in the team events.
The BC Winter Games torch is carried through the thousands of athletes that competed at the Lhtako Quesnel 2024 event.

A pair of athletes from New Westminster returned home with a gold medal from the 2024 BC Winter Games.

Judokas Corban Gruzling and Mingzhong Xu landed on top of the podium in the mixed team competition.

The gold was among 32 won by the Fraser River zone — the most of any other region competing at the Lhtako Quesnel games this past weekend.

Altogether, Fraser River slipped 89 medals around the necks of its athletes, including 28 silver and 29 bronze, finishing two back of Vancouver-Coastal with 91.

Individually, Gruzling ended up in sixth in the judo boys 73 kg weight class. Xu found the top 10 by claiming ninth in the boys 55 kg division.

New West has scheduled to send six athletes to the north central region, but "unfavourable snow conditions in the host community" forced three provincial sport organizations to withdraw from the games.

This included alpine skiing, of which Andrew Mackie and Anya Neil qualified long before the cancellation.

"A lack of snowpack" at Troll Ski Resort "and the absence of heavy snowfall in the forecast" led to the decision, according a news release on Feb. 9 from the BC Games Society.

The society added the affected athletes were still be eligible for certificates, credits and entry for the BC Games Leadership Bursary.