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19790605_National championships at the Hilton

 - The Grandmaster's Ballroom of the Malta Hilton was again the venue for the National Open Judo Championships, which were held for the eighth time recently
    This year the Judo Association decided to separate the two contests - the weight categories and the open - due to the special attraction of each contest.
    The first title which was contested for was that of the "Espoirs" (under 18). 8 Judokas competed in this contest, which was won by Joseph Chetcuti, who worked hard to win the title and deserved to win. The trophy was presented to him by last year's winner, the super heavyweight Paul Mangion.
    The "Espoirs" competition was followed by a karate display given by the Karate Club, which was recently affiliated to the Judo Association.
    During the display, which was led by Paul Wright, several karate techniques - such as Ten-No-Kata, One-Step Sparring, Katas and finally some spectacular "Breaking" techniques were demonstrated.
    Then came the much expected Juniors and Seniors events. The Junior Championship (under 21) was contested for by 6 Judokas on a knock-out basis.
    The highlight of this category was the final match between the 19-stone Paul Mangion and Brown Beld Alex Bezzina. After an exciting and hard match, the latter managed to lock Mangion into a powerful straight arm and win by an "Ippon".
    The Senior Championships, the winner of which holds the title of National Champion for a year, was fought for by the cream of the Association's Judokas: Paul Mangion, Alex Bezzina, joe Mallia and Silvio Cacciattolo. In the final Alex Bezzina met the cautious and powerful Joe Mallia, who after a long and hardfought battle only lost by a "Yuko" to Bezzina who thus became the 1979 national champion.   
    Among the distinguished guests present for the evening there was Mr. Raymond Petit, first secretary and counsellor of the French Embassy in Malta, a highly qualified exponent of oriental martial  arts, who has shown great interest in helping local karate teams to improbe their standards.
    Also present were Mr. Carm Borg, President, and Mr. Lino Bugeja, Secretary of the Olympic Committee.
    The trophy for the national Judo champion this year was presented by another outstanding Maltese sportsman, Mr. Salvo Darmanin, the island's top handicap Polo player.
    A spokesman for the Judo Association said that they were extremely delighted that Mr. Darmanin was honouring  the association with his presence on this important occasion.
    He also pointed out that the Judo Association was fully aware of the excellent results achieved by Maltese Polo teams in international competitions.
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