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120227 - Another Gold Medal @ Vittorio Veneto Int Tour

Another gold medal for Judoka Jeremy Saywell

 The team consisting of Marcon Bezzina, Jeremy Saywell & Isaac Bezzina, accompanied by Lamberto Raffi, contested the International Judo Tournament Vittorio Veneto in Pordenone, Italy, which was contested by 160 teams, 165 Junior Athletes and 246 Senior Athletes.

Jeremy Saywell was our star at this event! Last year, Jeremy had won a bronze medal, but this year he was adamant that he was coming back with a gold medal! The Junior Under 66kgs category was contested by 42 judoka – the biggest category in the junior age category. Jeremy was drawn bye in the first round. In the second round, he started off his throw marathon. The first opponent was Riccardo Sireus from A.S.D. Akkiyama (Akkiyama placed 2nd in the overall classification). Jeremy threw him with his famous ura-nage for Ippon (full points). The second adversary was Deponte Thomas (Cadet National Champion ITA 2011). Jeremy threw him with kosoto-gari for Ippon. The quarter final match was against Eric Mason. This was the only fight Jeremy didn’t manage to eliminate his opponent with an Ippon, but instead won by Yuko. The semi-final match was against Alessandro Bergamo, also from the Akiyama. Jeremy used his weapon again: his ura-nage, and threw Bergamo for Ippon, thus qualifying for the final match against Gabriel De Luca. Jeremy was determined to win the gold medal, and De Luca was intimidated by our Saywell. Few seconds into the fight, Jeremy had thrown De Luca already twice. The referee had awarded a yuko for Jeremy’s second attack, but the corner referees annulled it. De Luca got penalized with a Shido since he was passive in the fight. Jeremy kept on controlling De Luca and then threw with O-Soto Gari for Wazari (100 points), and immediately immobilized De Luca in osaekomi (hold down) for 20 seconds, thus winning the contest, the final and the gold medal.

Marcon Bezzina was not feeling too well at this event having had the flu this week. The draw did not make it any easier, as Marcon was one of the 6 judoka out of 21 who contested the category who did not have a bye. Nevertheless, she still tried to do her utmost on the tatami. She started off by eliminating Michela Petterle (silver medal at the 2009 edition of Vittorio Veneto).  Next contest was against the well experienced Sharon Di Nasta (3rd Italian National Championships 2011). Marcon managed to control Di Nasta well, however, in the last 25seconds, Di Nasta managed to pull down and win by strangle. Since Di Nasta qualified for the quarterfinals, Marcon was recovered for the repechage. Di Nasta continued until the final and placed second. The first fight in the repechage was against Valentina Giorgis (1st European Cup Belgrade 2011 & 1st Italian National Championships U23 ITA). The contest started off well but Giorgis managed to throw Marcon with Uchi Mata for a contested Ippon (full points). Our coach was certain that the score should have been a yuko (1 point), however the referee decision was the final one, and thus Marcon was eliminated. Giorgis continued winning the repechage fights and won the bronze medal.

Isaac Bezzina contested the U90 Junior Category. Isaac’s first contest was against Carlo Boschetti (3rd at the 2011 International Junior Tournament in Lignano). Isaac scored a Yuko (1 point), but Boschetti managed to score 2 Yukos, thus winning against Isaac with majority of points. Isaac was recovered in repechage and threw his first opponent Francesco Volanti with Uchi Mata. In his contest for the bronze medal, Isaac was leading with a yuko against Soverini Lorenzo, however Soverini managed to find an opening in Isaac’s defence and threw him for Ippon. Consequently Isaac placed 5th.

Though consisting of only three Judoka, Malta placed 26th out of 160 teams present at the event!