Gold for Saywell in Italy. Camilleri takes bronze in Germany

Friday, March 25, 2011, 10:58

These past weeks were super intensive weeks for our Judoka. Maestro Massimo Sulli, one of the top judo referees in the world and the godfather of the Maltese referees, was invited to Malta for a refereeing update and the examination of the aspirant referees. Sulli was a high profile athlete, winning 5th place in Barcelona Olympic Games, 3rd in the World Military Games and was unbeaten at the Italian National Championships between 1983 and 1991. He is now one of the team of top coaches at the Fiamme Gialle, training high level athletes such as Giulia Quintavalle – Olympic Gold Medalist in Beijing. This was a great opportunity for our national team to have a session with a high profile coach as Maestro Sulli. The weekend was concluded with a Shiai Tournament organised by the Hibernians Budokwai Judo Club at the Kordin Sports Pavilion.

Jeremy Saywell on the podium in Umbria

Jeremy Saywell on the podium in Umbria

The following weekend, Jeremy Saywell travelled to Rome for the International Junior Tournament in Giano del Umbria. Saywell started off on the right track, when he eliminated one of the students of Olympic Champion Pino Maddaloni with Ippon, and then the second fight with another Ippon within a few seconds. The third fight was against Persoglia from San Marino. Saywell managed to win this fight as well with Ippon. He continued winning by Ippon until the final where he won the gold medal – the first ever gold medal at a junior event of this level for Maltese Judo. Saywell stayed over in Rome for a week of intensive training with Maestro Lamberto Raffi. Marcon Bezzina joined Saywell in Rome for training.

Joanna Camilleri, Brent Law, Jeremy Saywell accompanied by Marcon Bezzina and Lamberto Raffi flew to Hamburg for the Holstein International Open. Brent won his first fight, but lost his next 2 fights. Jeremy fought for the first time in an only senior event. He lost his 3rd fight against a German judoka who then placed third. Jeremy then proceeded to the bronze medal fight but lost his fight to the Israeli Judoka placing 5th. Joanna eliminated her opponents, made it to the semi-final. Unfortunately she was beaten by Senegal in the semi-final and our Camilleri placed third winning the bronze medal. Joanna was the first one to make it to the podium in this event.

Joanna, Brent and Marcon then proceeded to the Nymburk Training Camp, in Czech Republic. This Training Camp is one of the highest training camps circuit of the European Judo Union: OTC – Going for Gold, which is a circuit aimed to prepare the top European Judoka to medal at the World Championships and Olympic Games. Joanna, Brent and Marcon had an intensive week of training with world renowned athletes.

The next appointment for our Judoka is the Malta International Open being held this weekend: 26th (12:00hrs – 17:00hrs) and 27th March (10:30hrs – 13:00hrs) at the De La Salle College. Further info about Judo may be acquired from

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