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19970605_Eight medals in judo

    The Judo Association is certainly feeling proud today after yesterday's achievement at the Iceland Games where they won eight medals - three golds, three silvers and two bronze.
    We all felt proud of this squad - all the judokas won a medal in their respective category. They confirmed that they were well prepared for this occasion. 
    This time they did even better than they did in Luxembourg two years ago when they had collected six medals.
    Pride of place must go to Jackie Xuereb (52 kgs), Kamilla Peter (66 kgs) and John Zammit (60 kgs), the three gold winners, but due praise must also be showered on Jason Trevisan (71 kgs), Laurie Pace (61 kgs) and Philip Camilleri (65 kgs) for their silver medal as well as Alexia Mallia (56 kgs) and Silvano Cristauro (78 kgs) who won the bronze medals.
    It is also important to note that Cristauro played for the bronze against Luxembourg's Cristian Koch after having been injured in the morning. His fighting spirit and will to win was second to none. 
    A beaming Envic Galea, president of the association, said they were all obviously pleased with what they had achieved. "It could have even been better but the fact that we did better than in Luxembourg shows how serious we have been in our preparations. We are glad to have overtaken Iceland in the medals table in the judo field. I think this was a great feat for our squad, something which we will remember for long," he said.
    John Zammit, 36, overcame some tremendous opposition to win his first ever gold medal in these Games. after several attempts. "I have fulfilled my great ambition. Now I am thinking of retiring, especially after this gold medal win, but first I wish to thank my whole family, including my parents, wife and children for helping me in reaching such levels," he said.
    Kamilla Peter, 28, said this was her first major win in such competitions. "I had won an international tournament in Bratislava long age, But I will now concentrate on winning more titles in the name of Malta," she said.
    Jackie Xuereb, who obtained her third successive gold medal in these Games, said she was fully satisfied with her achievement. Asked whether she wanted to continue playing judo, she said the contingent needed some rest now. "We will think about that later on," she said. 
    Official Chris Busuttil was also proud of the Malta squad. "We have proved ourselves once again. This shows that with some serious preparation, one can plan successfully," he said.
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