Giuseppe ‘Pino’ Maddaloni, gold medallist at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, now International referee, accepted the invitation of the federation and supervised the refereeing at the 34th Malta International Judo Open, organised In the Malta Judo facilities in Pembroke.
This year, the Malta Judo Federation hosted more than 150 Judoka, referees and coaches from Estonia, Poland, Scotland, Sicily, Milan and Rome came together to this annual Judo Festival. Most welcomed return were the CSEN (Centro Sportivo Educativo Nazionale), who came back after many years of absence, led by the President Franco Penna. The strongest opposition came from the “Regione Sicilia”, who had in their team internationals such as, Angelo Lanzafame in the -66kg, silver medalist in the European Cup U21 in Lignano and Mario Strazzeri in the -81kg, silver medallist in the European cup Cadets in Funegirola.
The program started with the “Andrew Bertie Memorial” a demonstration of the young Judo dragons. Coordinated by Joseph Castillo and Serge Dintimille, and supervised by David Cucic, Joseph Muscat and Tano Scerri. They took part in several Judo games, which help the children improve their motor skills and coordination. As it is now traditional, all the dragons are winners and they all receive a trophy from the highest place of the podium, but this year was special, their trophy was presented to them by the Founder of Malta Judo, Joseph Caruana ‘Iz-Zuzu’ and Pino Madaloni presented his postcard.
The programme continued with the Espoirs category (12 to 14 years) followed by the Cadet Category 15 – 16 years. MJF Sports Director Mr. Alex Bezzina, and the youth director Mr. Joseph Castillo observed the new talents of Maltese Judo. The winners of these categories were presented by the MOC Director, Ms. Charlene Attard.
The final part of the tournament was the Senior section, in which 19 Maltese Judoka participated.
MOC Sports Director Mr. Ivan Balzan, MJF Sports Director Mr Alex Bezzina, together with MJF President Mr Envic Galea, had opportunity to discuss future events particularly the preparation for the GSSE planned in Malta in 2023.
Malta placed 2nd out of 4 countries in the senior events with 11 wins, 1 Gold medal, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze at this event’s medal table.
The Federation is grateful to Mr. Ivan Esposito, the federation medical director, all the Referees, Table officials and volunteers who made this event another success.