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19930412_Jack Cook memorial - trial run for Small Nations Games

    The Malta Judo Association, in preparation for the Small Nations Games,  organised the IX edition of the Malta Open under the distinguished patronage of the president Dr Vincent Tabone. With effect from this year, this annual event will become known as "The Jack Cook Memorial" to commemorate one of the earliest friends of the assocition.
    In all, 65 judokas took part with the Italians forming the largest contingent, together with a small number of German and British athletes.
    Since this event constituted a very important part of the assocaition's preparations for the Games of the Small States of Europe scheduled to be held next May, the Malta Judo Association took care to invite contingents of a high technical level in order that the Maltese athletes would be faced with very strong opposition.
    In fact,  the Italians presented themselves with the regional squad of Campania and Sicily, together with the best athletes of the Centro Sportive Educativo Nazionale (CSEN).
    The association's strategy gave its Technical Board the opportunity to evaluate under realistic conditions, the performance of the individual local judokas before it decides definitely who is to form part of the Maltese national team to represent Malta next May.
    This event, however, was intended only as a trial run because the national team pool has as yet not reached the peak of its preparations for the Games and therefore the results obtained during the event are only an indication of what remains to be done up to the much awaited day.
    This notwithstanding, the Maltese judoaks did their utmost to obtain the best possible results despite being faced with a higher level of opposition than that which is expected next May.
    Although only Laurie Pace succeeded in placing first in her category, the results obtained were satisfactory. Besides this, missing from the Maltese female squad were Michelle Grech and Jacqueline Xuereb who are both working abroad and are training in the countries where they are residing.
    The Malta Open served also as a strong test for the organisation of the event. In fact all officials and helpers who have volunteered for the May event were asked to be present in order to conduct their assigned duties.
    Monsieur Francois Besson, sports director of the International Judo Federation,  was sent by the European Judo Union to run the event, since the same official will also be responsible for running the Judo event next May.
    At the end of the Malta Open, Mons. Besson prepared his report and recommendations which will eventually be presented to both the European Judo Union as well as the Malta Judo Association.
    At the outset, it was intended that the Malta Open be held on two tatamis (judo mats) and that the electronic scoreboard be in operation so that the two teams of table officials who will be running the event in May, would have had the opportunity to practise and also acclimatise themselves with the environment.
    This, however, was not to bo, because the necessary equipment ordered by the Malta Olympic Committe has, as yet, not been delivered.
    It was therefore necessary to ask for the help of the Police Corps who provided the additional biscuits to upgrade the MJA, one and only tatami to international requirments. Score-keeping had to be done manually.
    Besides the disappointment of having to conduct a trial run without the necessary equipment, the association was also disappointed that no organising committee official of the Games found time to attend the Malta Open in order to see personally what was happening inside the Gozo Sports Pavilion. 
    It would have been of immense value to the organising committee to meet Monsiuer Besson and personally hear his opinion about what still remains to be done to the Gozo Complex in order that it is up to the Olympic level as required by the International Judo Federation. 
    Despite the fact that the Malta Judo Association is finding it  difficult to obtain sponsorship because most of the available funds have been directed towards the organisation of the games, nevertheless it had to spend a considerable sum of money to organise the Malta Open.
    This, however, served to highlight deficiencies in the athletes preparation and also in the organisational set-up of the association and consequently the association is now in a position to take corrective measures.
    The MJA is doing its utmost in order to pass this formidable test with flying colours both by way of results achieved and also by way of organisation.
    The full results are as follows:
    Men's Categories
    Under 60kg: 1. Caracciolo Gianfranco (Ita), 2. Carbone Vincenzo (Ita), 3. Penco Alessandro (Ita), 3. John Zammit.
    Under 65kg: 1. Reid Lyndsay (Ger), 2. Bentrera Alessandra (Ita), 3. Festa Rosario, 3. Minissale Danilo (Ita).
    Under 71kg:  Ciciulla Michele (Ita), 2. Trevisan Jason (Mla) 3. Bonaccorsi Giuliano (Ita), 3. Reiter Michael (Ger).
    Under 76kg: 1. Romano Felice, 2. Billani Roberto, 3. Finocchiaro Salvatore (Ita), 3. Mathias Teufel (Ger).
    Under 86kg: Triulli Alessa, 2. Amalfitano Salvatore (Ita), 3. Gavin Jonathan (UK), 3. Andrea Bruno (Ita).
    'Open category': Mavilia Antonio 2. Vitolo Francesco (Ita) 3. Portelli Reno (Ita) 3. Thomas Robert (UK).
    Ladies' Categories
    Under 45kg: 1. Petillo Loreda, 2. Acostinelli Lorena (Ita), 3. Meilak Deborah (Mla), 3. Miceli Silbana (Mla)
    Under 52kg: 1. Bucheri Claudia, 2. Marino Nunzia (Ita), 3. Grima Vanessa (Mla)
    Under 56kg: 1. Costa Antonella (Ita), 2. Attard Caroline (Mla).
    Under 61kg: 1. L.Pace (Mla); 2. A. Scognamiglio (Ita); 3. E. Bonello (Mla); 4. L. Meddi (Mla).
    Under 66kg: 1. M. Murolo (Ita); 2. C. Esposito (Ita); 3. V. Licari (Mla)' 4. M. Tilenni (Ita).
    Open category: 1. A. Buchicchio (Ita); 2. N. Mchich (Ita); 3. M. Mifsud (Mla); 4. D. Mizzi (Mla).
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