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Isaac Bezzina & Jeremy Saywell on the podium in Wales

Posted By Sportinmalta On January 25, 2012 @ 3:51 pm In Featured,Judo/Karate | 1 Comment

The Maltese Judo squad, made up of Brent Law, Jeremy Saywell, Patrcik Gamble, Joanna Camilleri, Marcon Bezzina,  Francesco Aufieri and Neville Thomas, accompanied by Envic Galea, Lamberto Raffi and Alex Bezzina, is currently inCardiffcompeting at the Commonwealth Judo Championships.

Isaac Bezzina was the first winner of the day when he beat Peter Vincent from England (3 time bronze medallist in Junior Championships in Britain and England last year) by Ippon (full points).  He then beat Liam Dolkin from Scotland (2010 Cadet British Champion and 2011 British Junior bronze medallist) by Ippon in the semifinal. The final match was against Dominic Laing who has just won his bronze medal in the British Junior Trials last weekend. The finals were held on stage with a spectacular intro announcing Isaac Bezzina from Malta. Isaac fought till the end but he accumulated 2 shido & Dominic managed to score another Yuko against him. However, this was a huge success for Maltese Judo as Isaac won his first important medal in international judo – a silver medal at the Commonwealth Judo Championships.

The day didn’t start off too well for Jeremy Saywell, but definitely he managed to end it on a positive note! In the first contest, Connor Ireland (Wales) (bronze medallist at the British Trials & at the North Irish Open) took by surprise our Saywell & threw him for harai gochi (hip sweep). Ireland made it to the quarter finals, thus qualified Jeremy to the repechage and another chance to fight for the bronze medal. He eliminated Pierre Hockey from Guernsey with drop seio nage (drop shoulder trow) and then Benny Huynh from Australia (Cadet Continental Champion in 2010) with his famous Kata Guruma (shoulder wheel). His final match for the bronze medal was against Shawn Kearney from South Africa. Jeremy beat Kearney with yet another technique – this time a Ko-Uchi Gari (Minor Inner Reap), thus winning his first Commonwealth Medal: a Bronze Medal!

Francesco Aufieri had his first experience in an international and intercontinental Cadet event. His first fight was a very close encounter with Brendan Nel fromSouth Africa. Francesco handled his opponent well, and at the end of the contest, none of the competitors had a winning score. Francesco went into Golden Score however  none of the competitors managed to score a point. The contest ended in Hantei (Referee decision) where the referees awarded this contest to Nel. Since Nel’s next fight was the semifinals, Aufieri was recovered to fight for the bronze medal. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to beat Christopher Golding fromSouth Africa.

Neville Thomas was the first Maltese to go up on stage and it was also our first experience contesting the Veteran categories in the Commonwealth Judo Championships. Neville’s first contest was against Mark Desfountain fromSouth Africa (silver medallist at these Championships). Neville was recuperated in the repechage, but lost his second fight against David George fromEngland. Comments from the team up inCardiff were that Neville was very unlucky on the day, and deserved at least a bronze medal.

Lamberto Raffi’s comments at the end of the day were: “I am very happy with the overall performance of the team. Jeremy is very strong and could have even won the gold medal. Isaac played very well with his grips and gave a great performance. We look forward to tomorrow’s senior categories!”

Tomorrow (Wednesday) Marcon Bezzina, Joanna Camilleri, Brent Law, Jeremy Saywell, Isaac Bezzina and Patrick Gamble will compete in the senior categories.

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