Edition No. 38. Spring, 2004. Today is

Malta Open 2004
March 6, 2004
Taking the short flight from Gatwick to Valetta allowed the home country teams to move from the frosty March weather into the spring temperatures of a Mediterranean island. The Maltese Open was hosting teams this year from Italy, Sicily, Cyprus, Russia, Tunisia plus three of the four home nations, England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Without doubt the two strongest teams in the tournament were from Wales and Italy. The final metal table put Italy in first place with four Golds but if there was a trophy for the most stylish team it surely would have gone to Wales led this year by their new National coach Valeriy Vostrikov. At -81kg Luke Preston was that Knight of Malta, winning the throw of the tournament trophy for dispatching Aaron Thomas in the final in an impressive 13 seconds. En-route he had powered his way past, Hiddi TUN, Cilia ITA, and Donnelly NI in equally dramatic style.

His team mate at -73kg, Craig Ewers, also had an impressive run to the final beating Pocaeri ITA, Cartenzio SCI and Parisi ITA before meeting Dallura ITA in the quest for Gold. As the fight started Craig was quickly caught with a drop Kata-guruma which scored Yuko. Not put off by this early score against him, Craig turned and dropped to his knees underneath his opponent for a Seoi-nage attack and then climbed right back onto his feet with his opponent on his back, launching Dallura over the top to score Ippon.

Not to be left out by his team members Richard Nash -73kg scored Ippon with an incredible Te-guruma scooping Favata ITA above head height before smashing him down to the mat.

Also taking medals were Gary Cole -60kg & Aaron Thomas -81kg of Wales, Silver medalists. And taking Bronzes, Steven Boore, -60kg, Stephen Abberley -66kg, Richard Nash, -73kg all from Wales, and then Chris Donnelly -81kg NI, Mark O'Connor -90kg Wales, and Alun Green -100kg England. Taking Gold in the +100kg was Bob Willingham, England, who also won the spirit of Judo trophy.

For good clubs who are looking to stretch their competitive players the Maltese Open offers a great opportunity to experience international competition without the pressure of meeting world class players. The hospitality of our Maltese hosts was second to none with good hotels, good food and the advantage of being able to speak English to everybody!

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CILIA, Cristian (ITA)

ALLEGRA, Salvatore (ITA)










TIBA, Hedia (TUN)

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