News‎ > ‎1995‎ > ‎

19950601_Maltese contingent celebrates judo's six medals success

    The Maltese contingent celebrated the great medal scoop by the Maltese judoaks on Tuesday evening at the Sofitel Hotel.
    When the judokas arrived at the restaurant, they were afforded a standing ovation from the other members of the contingent.
    Earlier they had received the congratulations of the top Malta Olympic Committe officials, Magistrate Gino Camilleri, president, Magistrate Lino Farrugia Sacco, vice-president, Mr Louis Borg, Olympic Academy Director, as well as Mr Richard Muscat, the Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Justice and the Arts, responsible for sport.
    It was Mr Muscat who had the satisfaction of presenting the gold medal to Jackie Xuereb who retained the title she had won two years earlier at the Gozo Sports Complex in the -52kg category. Jackie dedicated the medal to all the people of Malta. "I am very happy, even for the rest of my colleagues in the judo squad. We all did well. We are proud of ourselves and in the name of my colleagues, I wish to thank all those who came over to support us during the final session. This is a big boost for our sport," she said.
    A fine gesture was noticed when all the judokas  put their medals round the neck of Russian coach Sergei Teliouk. It was a sort of "thank you" to a man whom they have praised in several ways. Mr Envic Galea, the association president, was elated with the results. "It was our best result ever. In Gozo we had also won six medals, but then, we had a bigger contingent. This time we have seven judokas and we won six medals," he said.
    Mr Galea said it could have been en pleine had Victoria Licari not been unlucky near the end of her flight. "She just missed that bronze medal in the final moments when she was actually in the lead. Well, she was very unlucky, but we also proud of her," he said. Victoria was certainly one of the most disappointed athletes among the Maltese contingent. At the end of her flight, she was seen crying - a case of being so near, yet so far.
    Mr Galea said the association will now continue to insist on the authorities to be given adequate premises where to held their training and events throughout the year.
    "We have been very successful even when comparing the results to those of the other countries. We can say we were second best in our event after Iceland, who are certainly superior to the rest. We lack the facilities back home and I am sure that if we are provided with an adequate site, we could improve our levels considerably in this sport," he said.
    Mr Galea said he hoped to keep Mr Teliouk at least for another two years. "Since he took over, our judokas have improved and the results here are proof of this improvement. But I repeat that only through an investment in the form of an adequate facility can we, at least, maintain these levels," he said.