Malta hosts a record number of couples for the Kata European Championships

Sunday, May 26, 2013, 8:49

The Tenth Edition of the Kata European Judo Championships was held successfully at the Cottonera Sports Complex with no fewer than 112 couples from 19 countries participating, including Malta.

On the first day of competition, all the couples contested one of the 5 official Kata of the Kata European Championships. Each Kata was divided in 2 groups, depending on the age of Tori (the person completing the technique). The audience, participants and European Judo Union delegates were spectators to several interesting results including reconfirmations of titles, but also new entries on the podium. Malta also was represented by three couples: Joe Muscat and Joe Bonello in the Katame no kata, Ivan Esposito and Tiziana Apap in the Ju no kata, and Ray Fava and George Fabri in the Kime no kata. Joe Muscat and Joe Bonello had contested the Katame no Kata at the 2009 World Kata Championships in Malta, where they had placed 7 managed to score 382 points, but as the level of Kata has increased drastically, these points only placed them. For the four other Maltese Judoka, these Championships were the beginning of a new experience in Kata at the 9 European level. Although they did not place in the top positions, their demonstration augurs well for the future these athletes in Kata.

The opening ceremony started off with four Belgian children (8 year old BEDIAT Manon, 9 year old GASPARD Enola, 10 year old BEDIAT Julien & MOREAU Hugo) winners of the Belgian National Judo Show Championships who showed their skills in Judo techniques. 19 children then marched in holding the placard of the countries participating in these Championships. Hon Dr Stefan Buontempo inaugurated his first International Sports event when he welcomed the more than 300 delegates. Dr Buontempo highlighted the importance of Sport Tourism to the Maltese tourism economy and praised the Maltese Judo Federation not only for their excellent sporting results over the years, but also for hosting their 5th International event. Over these years, Judo has hosted the largest single sport event for Malta when in the Cadet European Championships, over 700 young Judoka came from 43 European countries.

After Dr Buontempo’s welcome speech and that of the General Secretary of the MOC Mr Joseph Cassar and the President of the MJF also General Secretary of the European Judo Union Mr Envic Galea, the Vice President of the EJU Mr Franco Capelletti declared the Championships officially open.th with 345 points. This year they Amber, nephew of the founder of the Maltese Judo Federation and a Judoka herself, sang passionately the Maltese National anthem acapella after which the crowd broke in a great applause. Dr Buontempo later presented the medals to the winners of the European Championships.

On the second day, the people present in the hall could witness the Kata demonstration of the best 6 couples in Europe of each Kata, when they performed to establish the absolute winner of each Kata in the Open Kata European Championships. The audience also followed the Koshiki No Kata European Cup, which is a Kata dedicated to the historical source of Judo.

These Championships ended with the Judo Show European Cup. Hon Joe Mizzi visited the Judo European Championships and had the opportunity to see these spectacular Judo Shows given by the Belgian, Dutch and

Italian National teams. Judo Show is one of the categories in the European Championships, where up to six Judoka are free to show the beauty of the discipline of Judo when applied in competition, kata or self-defence. Some displayed the techniques in slow motion others in lightning speed, others showed how they could easily handle a gang armed and unarmed attack. The shows were accompanied by music, making the shows more effective.

Hon Mizzi participated in the medal ceremony of the second day.

The Championships were visited also by the newly appointed chairman of the Sports Reform Commission Hon Chris Agius. Mr Joe Cassar General Secretary MOC, Mr Alfred Cachia KMS, Dr Lucienne Attard MOC were also present during the second day.

The participants were extremely happy with the hospitality offered by the Organising Committee and the Malta Judo Federation, and a lot of them already sent their congratulations by email, through social media or made sure that they congratulated one of the organisers. Behind every successful championships, there is a great team of volunteers and sponsors, and the Malta Judo Federation is grateful to the support it received in making this event one of the greatest Kata European Championships!





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