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06/11 - Successful EC Cadets

Sleepless nights, surprises, pride, focus, frustration, exhilaration were some of the feelings the Malta Judo Volunteers experienced this weekend during the Cadet European Judo Championships, which attracted close to 600 delegates from 40 countries. 

Following the success of the 2007 European Championships hosted in Malta, the Malta Judo Federation bid again in 2009 to host this massive event. President Sergey Soloveychik was happy to have a Championship again in Malta. `We are satisfied that not only bigger organisations but also smaller organisations are able to organise championships like these. It shows the development of the EJU and its federations. Malta organised on a good level. This is a difficult period as we are one year away from London Olympic Games and a lot of the money flows into the ultimate performances to qualify and perform at the Olympic Games. However, there were promising talents and I hope they will bring us good European results in the future at international events. This generation may be able to shine at the Olympic of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.´

During these Championships, high profile coaches and former athletes could be seen at the Cottonera Sports Complex: 1991 World Champion Daniel Lascau GER (European Judo Union Vice President for Sport), 2000 Olympic Champion Mark Huizinga NED (coach), 2001 World Championships runner-up Sara Alvarez ESP (coach), 2002 European medallist Amina Abdellatif FRA (coach), 2005 World and European Champion Akos Braun HUN (European Judo Union Computer Team). 2 Italian Judoka who were present at this year’s edition of the Malta Open competed at these European Championships, one of whom, Stangherlin Georgia, placed 5th.

The organization of the championships was eventful, and definitely not a piece of cake, however the Maltese Judoka and their friends managed to stage an amazing event. The European Judo Union IT and Live Streaming Team said that from their point of view, it was perfect, even better than some Championships and Grand Slams in much bigger countries. The referees, some of the best referees convoked by the European Judo Union, had only words of praise and thanks to the organisers.

The Malta Judo Federation was not just successful in hosting this event, but as well in being ambassadors in the promotion of our islands. Most delegates will be definitely coming back for Judo or holiday to enjoy the great hospitality offered by the Maltese and to repeat the great time they had on our island! One of the most common comments heard was that if they knew what experience they would be having in Malta, they would definitely have extended their stay! This would not have been possible without the endless help from sponsors and volunteers!

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