More tournaments, camps and podiums for the Maltese Judoka

Thursday, November 24, 2011, 22:17

Intensive Judo Olympic Training Centre in Rome for the National Team

Just one month after the record breaking World Championships for our team, the Maltese Judo National Team, composed of Marcon Bezzina, Joanna Camilleri, Brent Law, Jeremy Saywell and Isaac Bezzina, accompanied by Lamberto Raffi, attended an intensive training camp in Rome, which is one of the top Judo Olympic Training Camps in Europe. This camp was attended by Judoka from more than 22 nations. Multiple Olympic, World and European champions such as Udo Quellmalz and Giulia Quintavalle were also on the mat. Following the OTC, the Italian Judo Federation organised a female World Cup, which was one of the Olympic Qualification round. Though the girls were tired from training and from their preparation for the World Championships, they still contested this event which was attended by Judoka from 36 countries from the 5 continents. All the judoka struggled to make it to the podium to win precious points for their qualification to the Olympic Games. Marcon Bezzina and Joanna Camilleri were very unlucky with the draw, facing Pruvost from France (5th in the IJF Grand Slam Tokyo and placing 5th in this World Cup) and Cherepanova from Russia (5th World Cup Minsk) respectively in their first rounds.

2nd overall at the ‘Alle Pendici del Etna’ Italian Grand Prix in Sicily

2 weeks later, the Team composed of Marcon Bezzina, Joanna Camilleri, Brent Law, Jeremy Saywell, Isaac Bezzina, Patrick Gamble, Neville Thomas, Francesco Aufieri accompanied by Alex Bezzina & Vito Aufieri travelled to Catania to compete in one of the Italian Grand Prix – Alle Pendici del Etna in Catania. The Malta team placed 2nd overall. The medals won totalled to: 4 gold medals – Marcon Bezzina 1st in both the Senior -63kgs and the +78kgs, Patrick Gamble in the Senior -90kgs and Francesco Aufieri in the Espoir -81kgs; 2 silver won by Jeremy Saywell in the Junior -73kgs and Neville Thomas in the -90kgs; 1 bronze medal won by Isaac Bezzina in the Junior -81kgs; and Brent’s 7th place in the Senior -66kgs.

The ultimate experience of a Junior Judoka: the World Junior Championships

Thanks to a special invitation from the International Judo Federation, the young Judoka Jeremy Saywell and Isaac Bezzina accompanied by our coach Lamberto Raffi, had an experience of a life time when they travelled to South Africa to compete in the World Junior Championships. There were 65 nations present at this event, with 50 athletes in Jeremy’s category and 42 athletes in Isaac’s category. Though the Maltese did not get any close to the podium, this was definitely an important step in their sporting career, as very few judoka in the world get the opportunity to compete in World Championships, which can also be a stepping stone to the Olympic Games. Jeremy, though only 18 years old, already participated at all the 3 World Championships (Cadets, Juniors and Seniors) and the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore making him the first Maltese Judoka to ever participate in all these events.

‎749 athletes from 18 countries at the Sankaku International Tournament

That same week, Marcon Bezzina, Brent Law, Patrick Gamble & Francesco Aufieri, accompanied by Vito Aufieri, travelled to Bergamo to compete in the famous Sankaku International Tournament, where no less than 749 judoka gathered to compete over the weekend. Marcon was one shot away from the podium after she eliminated Palandri ITA with ippon (2nd Roma Qualficazzione Coppa Italia) and Dalla Corte ITA with 2 wazari, the latter winning the bronze medal in the tournament. Marcon’s fight in the semi-final was a very close encounter with the ESP Puche Palao (7th Universiade, 1st European Cup ESP 2010 and 5th European Championships U23 2009). Puche Palao beat our Marcon by a yuko (the smallest score in Judo). Marcon fought her bronze medal fight against Bergamo ITA (2nd Campionati Universita Italiani 2010). Bezzina was controlling the Italian well, but a small mistake in her attack lead to Bergamo to take over the attack and pin down Marcon to osaekomi. Marcon placed 5th in this very strong tournament.  Brent Law placed 9th in the -60kgs which was contested by 24 athletes. His mission for gold was stopped by Daniele Mannina (10th Italian National Championships 2011). Brent was recuperated in the repechage, where he eliminated Griffero ITA, however he lost his fight for the 7th place against the strong Campese ITA (5th Junior World Championships 2009). Patrick Gamble was drawn against Camparsi ITA but did not make it to the repechage zone.  In the Espoir categories, Francesco Aufieri eliminated Crespi ITA but unfortunately lost his final against Rossi thus placing second and making it to the podium.

‎National Championships 2011

The National Judo Championships will be held at the St Aloysius College this Sunday starting at 10:00hrs. We will start with the youngest Judoka at 10:00hrs and at 12:00hrs the competitive age groups. For any information, call 21310463 during office hours or email on info@maltajudo.com.





Leave a comment