The Malta Judo Federation has just finished hosting the 33rd edition of the Malta International Judo Open. 4 main events were held at the Malta Judo Academy with 9 countries competing for 25 gold medals.
The day started off the children festival, under the direction of the Youth Director, Joe Castillo. Our little ones learnt new techniques, had randori (training for competition) and also some games.
The day continued with the Espoir categories which was dominatd by the National Team of Hungary. Clive Camilleri, a student of the National Sport School, won a silver medal, but also demonstrated that he does have the qualities of a champion. He managed his final contest very well, but the superior experience of his opponent meant he did not manage to make it to gold.
The cadet category was again dominated by the Hungarians. For some of the Maltese Cadets, this was the very first time they were competing on the International stage, and for sure this experience will provide the right stimulus to continue training and improve.
But the Maltese showed that the recent training is making a difference. Malta placed first in the medal table with 4 gold. Rodney Zammit was the star of the day, when he won all contests with ease. His recent training in Georgia with our new coach, Giorgi Kaldani, for sure did make the difference. Cucic David, training with the Maltese team, won the gold in the -81kgs. In the girls categories, Malta had 2 nice surprises. The first one came from the cadet Lara Castillo. She did not manage to get a medal in cadets, but she came back with determination and won the -57kgs senior category after beating the Frazier from Malta and the German Roll. The 4th gold medal came from Cheryl Kaye Cachia, who won her first International gold medal in -63kgs after beating the Finnish and the German girls.
Georgia topped the medal table in the Open Category winning both Male categories.
But the highlight of the day was a friendly contest held between Rodney Zammit and Paul Riegert, a partially disabled person, who is here as a participant of the Voluntering and Inclusion project currently organised by the Malta Judo Federation.