History Tre Torri 1998

History Tre Torri 1998

With this 14th tournament the town of Porto Sant'Elpidio, hosting the event for the second consecutive time, becomes its established home. This is an important year for us with 26 countries participating and the very high technical level. The monks of the SHAOLIN Temple enriches the proceedings with a spectacular display. Once again new countries joined us, such as KAZAKHSTAN, TURKMENISTAN and LITHUANIA, while others such as CANADA, THE UNITED STATES and CUBA came back. In terms of technical skill and competitiveness the best judo comes from the Brazilians. The "carioca" athletes are always very imaginative in their approach to competitive sport, even at the international level as in the '98 TRE TORRI Tournament. Success comes to the very young JOAO NUNES in the -60kg category with this victory over the '97 TRE TORRI winner Gianni CARELLA. BRAZIL also reaches the final of the -73 group with Marcio VERAJAO, who should have met Diego SGRECCIA; but the final don't take place because of an accident suffered by the Italian athlete, competing at a weight above his own one.

In the -66kg Brazil wins a bronze with Camailo TIAGO, while their Cesar MEDEIROS gets silver in the -100kg category. In the female section, Vania ISHII stands out above everyone, showing herself to be a real competitor; in particularly fine form, she wins her first encounter in the eliminating rounds a few seconds after the start with a remarkable "O sto gari" ippon against the very strong Italo-Dutch athlete Jenny GAL, who now features in the Italian National Team. Cuba, ever present, wins the tournament with a very creditable squad, above all in the male events. They field a somewhat less formidable female team however, winning only one category when Danieska Carrio (-48kg) beats our Giorgina ZANETTE. Cuba proves a force to be reckoned with at international level with Manolo RAMOS POULOT winning the 66kg final against Englishman Jim WARREN.

Poulot is the key man in the Cuban team in his category: the sights of this formidable athlete are firmly set on the Sidney 2000 Olympic podium. In the -90kg category another winner was Yosvane TERRY DESPAGNE; this athlete, still young, shows great improvement, beating the talented Canadian Keith MORGAN with his special Kuchiki taoshi. Finally Angel SANCHEZ ARMENTEROS wins the +100kg category. JAPAN is present as ever with a delegation drawn from the TOKAI University and the International BUDO University accompanied by the "World Champion" Katsuhiko KASHIWAZAKI, Honour Guest on this occasion. "Sensei" Katsuhiko Kashiwazaki, an old friend of ours, contributes to the success of TRE TORRI '98 with a display of his specialities (Sutemi Waza - "Furiko Tomoe Nage"), showing Judo (with a capital 'J') as an art to be savoured for its beauty, harmony, elegance and force.

A significant detail deserves to be reported as an indication of the man Katsuhiko KASHIWAZAKI; he asks the commentator to explain that during his performance he wears the White-Red belt, for which he asked to be excused. He does this as a sign that his technique is not what it had been when, as a young athlete, he had won the World Championship and all the most prestigious national and international tournaments. I believe it appropriate to add that his performance is superb, one might say superlative. This is a lesson in humility for all of us. The team however consists mostly of young athletes and while they perform well on a technical level, they do not feature heavily on the medals table; a single bronze went to Tsuyoshi ADACHI (-73) who beats the American Carlos MENDEZ in the final forthird place with an Ippon adjudged to him after the counter-attack of the American athlete.

The referee's decision gives rise to a great deal of lively discussion. Another nation which always fields a young, able team is SOUTH KOREA. Each year they contribute to a raising of the technical standard of the event. For the first time this year we are able to welcome the Italian national women's team. I would like to thank the Technical Director Vittoriano ROMANACCI for his decision to bring his squad to the tournament. The Italian women wins the team event with three first positions: Giuseppina MACRI (-52kg) beats the very strong Polish athlete Malgorzata WIELGOSZ, Francesca CAMPANINI (-57kg) wins in the final against Elena KARITSKASJ from Bielorussia and, still the team champion as well as bronze medal-winner at the '96 Olympic Games, Ilenia SCAPIN defeats the Cuban Zulueta LEYEN. Our Technical Director's team, accompanied by Technical Adviser Sandro ROSATI, also wins a second place with Giorgina ZANETTE (48kg), three bronzes with Laura MADDALONI (-52kg), Paola POSTIGLIONI (57kg) and Lucia MORICO (-78kg) and a fifth place with Antonia CUOMO (-52kg).