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Malta International Open - gearing up to the event

The Malta Judo Federation is preparing to host the 30th edition of the Malta International Open on the 15th of March at the Bocci Drome at the Cottonera Sports Complex. This event is special to the Maltese Judoka in many ways. Young Judoka have the opportunity to compete and train with international athletes without spending a lot of money to travel offshore. A lot of Judoka, who later became a household name on our Island such as Marcon Bezzina, Jeremy Saywell and Joanna Camilleri, have started their international career in Judo at this event. This event is also the stepping stone for officials, including referees, who have the opportunity to referee international athletes with international referees. This year, the referees will have an extra challenge to the event, since the International Judo Federation has just confirmed the new rules which will be used for this coming Olympic Qualification Period.  

Two National Referees from Italy will be flying to Malta to assist in the refereeing of this event – Maestro Giulio Sacchi and Maestro Paolo Monaco. Maestro Monaco won 4 medals at the Italian Championships before he retired and later became one of the coaches of the Fiamme Gialle. Maestro Sacchi has been on the podium several times at all age categories of the Italian National Championships. He was also 7th at the European Junior Championships and won a silver medal at the European Youth Olympic Festival EYOF in Bath (at that time EYOD). In 2004, Sacchi had competed at the Malta International Open and won a bronze medal in the -73kgs category. Monaco and Sacchi will be refereeing together with the Maltese referees Lloyd Caruana, Abdul Rahman Lativ, Chris Busuttil and Alex Bezzina, who is also the Technical Director of Maltese Judo.

The Malta Open will be welcoming athletes from 7 countries: Malta, Italy, Germany, Great Britain, Slovakia, Serbia and USA. The Senior Team composed of Marcon Bezzina, Kriss Law, Isaac Bezzina and Murman Korchilava will be contesting their categories. However, the limelight this year will be shared with the upcoming Judo stars.

The Malta International Open (Senior Categories) and the Fra Andrea Bertie Promotional Cup (Espoir, Cadet and Junior Categories) will be held on Saturday 15th of March. The event dedicated to the little ones of the federation, the Dragons, will be held at 10:00hrs on Sunday 16th of March.