The curtain has fallen on the 19th edition of the "Tre torri 2003" International Judo Tournament and we are already thinking about the next edition, the twentieth, which already promises to be both an important stage and a goal in itself. It will be a really special event because of the innovations that we are going to make to the 2004 tournament, which will coincide with the Olympic Games. We are satisfied because we are aware of having done something good for Judo, for Italian and foreign Judokas and for the town that has hosted us. We believe we have proved that The "Tre Torri" is an event at a high technical and organizational level, worth to be taken into consideration in the panorama of the Italian Judo. We want to emphasize that in committing ourselves to this special edition, we have come out with dignity and aware of having accomplished an important and hard task.

16 nations, 264 athletes on the "tatami" of Porto Sant'Elpidio have given a unique, exalting performance. At times you had the impression of witnessing a mini-world championship. The Japanese school is still the best; Tadahiro Nomura, Keiji Suzuki, Yuta Yazaki, winners in their own categories, have proved it. Team mates, acting as coaches, such as the world champion -65 kg. at Essen '87 Yousuke Yamamoto, and the Olympic bronze medal -86 kg. at Seoul '88 Akinobu Oosako have shown satisfaction. We have rejoiced at the thankful attitude of all the participants, who have shared this event as an act of love for Judo and as an attempt at passing on to the young contestants a positive experience, that will stay impressed upon their minds far beyond the results obtained. Athletes from JAPAN, KOREA, FRANCE, GERMANY, SWITZERLAND, POLLAND, HUNGARY, etc. .., just to name some of the most prestigious in Judo, have appreciated the organization and the atmosphere during the event. People have made new friends and old relationships have been strengthened. All this have helped to improve the role of the "Tre Torri" in the world of Judo.

A TWENTY YEARS OLD "CREATURE" The "TRE TORRI" is approaching its twentieth year of age and nobody can deny that it is an important event, deeply rooted in the world of Judo, both in Italy and abroad. It is then an important birthday, also relevant for having reached this goal. We are proud to say that the "TRE TORRI" is a reference point in international Judo.

NEW FEATURES OF "TRE TORRI 2003" This year's edition has been full of innovations, thanks to new important partners such as the FORNARI Ltd., a leading foot-ware and clothing company, and two well-known labels with a target of sport-loving youths such as NOSE, an important trademark in the fields of both sports foot-ware and clothing, and COMBO. "Judo, a still genuine sport". We deliberately quote the words of Mr. Antonio Gnocchini, advertising and public relations general manager at FORNARI Ltd., to point out our agreement with a statement, which underlines the positive and genuine values that Judo still passes down to the young generations.

FROM JAPAN, FUJI TELEVISION An extraordinary new guest, FUJI TELEVISION, one of the most well known Japanese broadcasters, has been a very welcome and prestigious acknowledgement of the importance of the event and, at the same time, a precious help in spreading the image of both the tournament and the sponsors over the Land of the Samurai. The FUJI TELEVISION has broadcast the TRE TORRI, devoting special attention to great names of Japanese and world-wide famous athletes such as the Olympic Champion at Atlanta '96 and Sydney 2000 Tadahiro Nomura, the most representative athlete at this edition of the TRE TORRI.

THE JAPANESE TEAM: ABSOLUTELY THE MOST REPRESENTATIVE The Japanese team included the Olympic champion at Atlanta '96 and Sydney 2000 Tadahiro Nomura, a real champion, candidate for the gold medal at the forthcoming world championship in Osaka in September, together with Keiji Suzuki, the winner of the Paris '03 tournament and of the J.Kano cup '03 and rising star in the 100 Kg. category, and the champion Kosei Inoue. We put a bet on Keiji Suzuki being the next world champion in Osaka in the OPEN category. Still from the "Land of the Rising Sun", YutaYasaki, winner of the J.Kano Cup, of the TRE TORRI '03 and candidate for the Osaka September '03 world championship.

FROM THE UNITED STATES The world champion at Birmingham '99 Jimmy Pedro, fifth at the Olympic Games Sydney 2000, is Again a candidate for Athens '04. The Bostonian American fought a perfect match and after his success at the March OPEN in NEW YORK and in LONDON in April, was confirmed for the third time running also in PORTO SANT'ELPIDIO. Jimmy Pedro beat our best athlete in the -73 Kg. category, Francesco Bruyere. The American, of Portuguese origins, fought the final using a perfect technique. He reached the final with very clear ideas about how to fight our Francesco Bruyere. First of all, the " KUMI KATA" (holds): Jimmy neutralized all the attacks by Francesco by blocking his left arm. Bruyere's technique is, in fact, that of forcing his left hold on the opponent before launching his best attacks. After having his opponent penalized for being passive, he pressed the Italian with sudden attacks of Sode Tsurikomi on the right, and went on with the follow-up on the ground, where on the second try he usually managed to immobilize our tenacious Francesco. No chance for our athlete who, however, came second, as it happened in last year's edition to the tough Antonio Ciano, who was defeated in the final by the Slovenian Jereb Saso. It's a prestigious result also in the light of the fact that, over a number of years, apart from the Neapolitan Ciano, no Italian athlete has won a medal in this category at the "TRE TORRI". The organization committee of the Sant'Elpidio Tournament has awarded JIMMY PEDRO the title of best athlete of the competition, almost to underline Jimmy's welcome come back to the TRE TORRI 2003.

THE FOLLOW ON STAGE The follow on stage is getting more and more popular with athletes. In fact, we have had people like the Canadian Nicolas Gill, silver medal at Sydney 2000 and at the Kano Cup '03, won by Keiji Suzuki. Nicolas Gill, dispite not being able to take part in the tournament since he was engaged in Russia in the European Cup for clubs, did not miss the chance of training with athletes like Keiji Suzuki, the twice European champion (Dusseldorf '03) Valentyn Grekov and others at an international level. Also Italian athletes are starting to understand how important is to take this chance, by now unique in Italy. The Carabinieri sports group, followed by the Olympic athlete Luigi Guido and the coach Massimo Lanzi, have taken part in the stage; the "Fiamme Oro" of the state police, with inspector superior Mauro Massaro, the coach, the young Dario Romano. The standard bearer of the "Fiamme Oro" (still very fit) in high spirits, not only has coached his athletes during the stage, he has also trained at a high level: ask the winner of the -90 Kg. category, Yuta Yazaky to believe it! Also Domenico Paduano, former athlete of the "Fiamme Gialle" and of the national team, has taken part in the event, as a coach of the Judo Club Frascati. He too perfectly fit. Other Italian clubs and some daring judoka, such as the strong Fernando Marverti, have taken the extraordinary chance of facing both different schools and the best judokas in the world. We have appreciated the participation of people from the world of judo such as Jenny Gal, who has coached three girls from Slovenia. Jenny, in thanking us, has appreciated the quiet and relaxed atmosphere on the "Tatami", before and during the stage.

RAI SPORT SAT All "minor" sporting events are presently broadcast by satellite television. Luckily the number of people enjoying this service are increasing compared to the past, even if, we are still far away to what is, in our opinion, desirable in terms of audience. On Monday, 16th June, at 18.15 Mimmo Fusco, a well experienced TV presenter and colourful commentator of high level international Judo competitions, presented the TRE TORRI on the state television RAI. As the organizer of the tournament and on behalf of the organizing committee, I would have appreciated more attention devoted by the TV commentator to the Porto Sant'Elpidio event. In my opinion, it would have been much more suitable to give information about the athletes who fought the finals, instead of making them appear almost unknown participants. Furthermore, it would have been appropriate to comment on both the organization and the town that hosted the event; it would have made the report more interesting. I do not mean to criticize neither the RAI nor the reporter. My comment simply aims at improving the image of the tournament through a thorough coverage of the same.

WE THANK EVERYBODY In spite of the fact that Judo is a sport still unknown to a wide audience, the satellite TV coverage has given the event a welcome "visibility".

THE RADIO It is worthwhile to mention that we were linked up twice to RADIO UNO, a radio programme that has a wide audience and devotes the whole afternoon to sports on Saturdays and Sundays. RADIO UNO interviewed us before the finals, on Saturday 7th June, and on 8th June after the prize-giving ceremony. The coverage has been highly appreciated and we heartily thank the Editor in chief and presenter of the programme Mr. Filippo Corsini and his collegue Claudio Urbani, who have given us the chance of delivering our message.

CONSENSUS We are pleased by the appreciation and success obtained by all the participants: athletes, coaches, instructors, masters, judges, spectators, parents; ultimately, not only all those who have taken part in the event, but also those who have given their contribution, working hard and with an open heart, in order to make it possible. To these people we are sincerely grateful and we thank them all, starting from the veteran, who has reached, I quote, " ..the end of my career", Raffaele Coppola, who with great humility, but also great competence and rigour and putting all his energy in the task, has successfully managed the event. To him we want to say: "Raffaele, it has been a pleasure to have you with us." Special thanks are due to our two friends, who have become an integral part of our staff, Elisabetta Fratini e Maria Grazia Perrucci, two pillars of our tournament, who with proved experience have granted maximum tranquillity and efficiency.

THE TOURNAMENT HAS BEEN CHARACTERIZED BY THE PARTICIPATION OF COUNTRIES LIKE FRANCE, with the come back of Franck Chambilly among the men and Cecile Nowak Grasso, for the first time at the TRE TORRI responsible for women athletes. Cecile Nowak Grasso is presently coaching the French women's national team, collaborating with Guy Delvingt. Cecile (four times European Champion, World Champion at Barcelona '91 and Olympic Champion at Barcelona '92) has congratulated with us for the organization and the value of the tournament, in spite of the absence (having nothing to do with us) of the Cuban Team of Ronaldo Veitia. The women's team of our French "cousins" came first in the team list, by winning one bronze and three gold medals, bearing in mind that Henry Virginie, of the French national team, won the gold medal in her -57 Kg. for the colours of the Judo Club Pegeout Mulhouse. Next year's women's competitions will be very interesting because of the confirmed participation of the Cuban athletes. The team of Ronaldo Veitia will be joined by the Japanese, Korean, Brasilian, Canadian, Russian teams and many more. To pay respect to the Transalpine team, we underline that, apart from coming first in the team list, they had the honour of having one of their athletes, the pretty Marie Pasquet, named the best athlete in this year's competition, after winning in the -63 Kg. category, thanks to her effective, personalized Osoto gari. The men's team won two bronze medals, Yoahani Colliau (-60 Kg.) and David Zahirovic (-81 Kg.), and three fifth places, Arnaud Blanc (-73 Kg.), Cristophe Humbert (-90 Kg.) and Ziad Ouaquek (+100 Kg.).

GERMANY A team that has greatly improved since last year, honoured us with the participation of sixteen athletes, coached by Richard Trautman. Thirteen of them were from the Under twenty-three National Team. Three athletes from the Judo Club Polizei Sportverein Konigsbrunn. Our friends Regina and Hannes Daxbacher are among our collaborators. The three athletes from the prestigious club from Konigsbrunn are Christian Kipperer, Daniel Reitmair, Norbert Wessinger. The German Team has shown good standards and we pay our compliments to the "Bundestrainer" Frank Wieneke and to Richard Trautman, coach of the men's under twenty-three team. The German athletes have won three bronze medals with Oliver Offman (-66 Kg.), Jamet Marcel (- 90 Kg.) and Sebastian Baehr (+100 Kg.). Jamet Marcel won, against all odds, by catching with a powerful Uchimata the Ukrainian twice European Champion Valentyn Grekov, by far considered the favourite on the eve of the competition. This shows that nothing can be taken for granted. In the -90 Kg. category the winner was the Japanese Yuta Yazaki, who fought Stefano Sorelli.

SWITZERLAND Always taking part in our competition with large teams, this year has participated with fourteen men (from clubs and National Team) and four women. Among the men Josuke Tanaka ( -60 Kg.) stood out by beating the Swedish John Forselius in the first match , the American Joshua Ramirez in the second and the German Dominik Liebel in the semi-final. Josuke Tanaka came second at the TRE TORRI '03 behind Tadahiro Nomura, definitely the strongest in the category. The final lasted only a few minutes, until Tadahiro Nomura, thanks to a perfect Morote Seoinage, won the medal.

FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT The Mauritian Dolly Moothoo(-48 Kg.) won the silver medal, after being beaten by the French Amel Bensemain. Tunisia, with four male athletes, won a silver medal in the category +100 Kg., a bronze medal in -81 Kg. and a fifth place in -66 Kg. with Ayed Makram. In the + 100 Kg. category, Anis Chedly has proved to be a very interesting and competitive athlete in the first part of the match of the final, but he had to surrender to the powerful "O Soto Gari" by Keiji Suzuki, definitely unbeatable on this occasion. In the- 81 Kg. category, Arous Abdesselem has come third, beating the Swiss Michael Guidi in the first match, the skilful Swedish Marcello Novais in the second, but was beaten by our Giovanni Alessio, who fought a perfect match. The Tunisian will eventually beat the Italian Champion '02, Emidio Centracchio, not very lucky in this 2003 edition of the TRE TORRI.

SWEDEN Always present at the TRE TORRI, has taken part with nine men and six women. A great satisfaction for the organizers and official recognition for the tournament, since in the calendar of the Swedish Federation the TRE TORRI is considered a qualification stage for the OSAKA '03 World Championship. The Swedish won a silver medal in the -66 Kg. category with Gabriel Bengtsson, who beat the Tunisian Ayed Makram, fifth behind the Italian Champion '03 Gianni Carella of Famme Gialle Roma. Gabriel Bengtsson, a tough athlete who has taken part in other edition of this tournament, reached the final after eliminating for Ippon the Italian Champion '02 Marco Maddaloni, Matteo Zanioli, Francesco Faraldo. In the final, Bengtsson will surrender for Waz to Alessandro Bruyere.

POLAND Poland has come back to the TRE TORRI with a team consisting of athletes from clubs, National Team and students representatives. Our friend Marek has performed quite well with the women's team, by winning three silver medals and a bronze one. In the -57 Kg. Inga Golaszewska came third, beaten in the first match by the Slovenian Maja Oblak, after winning the play-off match with the Greek Maria Tselaridou and the match for the third place with the Italian Valentina Aloisi. In the -63 Kg. category, Aneta Szczepanska fought in three matches, included the final, which was beautiful and very "hot" for competitive spirit. Aneta came second, beaten by the French Marie Pasquet, judged the best woman athlete in the competition. In the -70 Kg. category, Paulina Rainczuk was defeated in the final by the European Champion at Dusserdolf '03, the Slovenian Rasa Sraka of the Judo Club Bezigrad, managed by our friend, well known in Italy, Januz Pawlowski. Januz Pawlowski, who coaches the Judo Club Bezigrad in Lubiana, managed to win a gold medal with Klement Ferjar in the -81 Kg. category and a gold one with the European Champion, Rasa Sraka (-70 Kg.): quite a good result in view of the level of the competition. A silver medal was won in the +78 Kg. category by Magdalena Koziol, beaten by the Slovenian Lucija Polavder.

SLOVENIA A federation consisting of fifteen Judo Clubs, which is having a great success, especially thanks to Fabian's women's team, managed by the Dutch-Italian Jenny GAL. Klement Ferjar's performance deserves a special mention because of the value of the opponents, all very hard to beat. The young Slovenian is being rewarded by his past hard training, skilfully managed by the Polished Januz Pawlowski: our compliments to them. Klement Ferjar beat the Italian Roberto Bazzani in 3'.45" in the first match, and in the second match he defeats the strong Eric De la Paz, a Cuban athlete, by now an Italian citizen, fighting in the ranks of the Judo Format Ferrara, winner of a medal at the 2003 Italian Championship. Klement beat Marco Favaro and the French David Zahirovic. During the final against the Italian Giovanni Alessio from the Judo Club Star of Naples, after several attacks from both sides, the Slovenian managed to strike a formidable Uchi Mata that put an end to the fight (see the photo).

KOREA Korea has taken part in this competition with a young team. We regret to see that a country with a glorious tradition in Judo went all in all almost unnoticed. Our affectionate friend Lee Young Duck has already booked the participation to the twentieth edition of the International Judo competition TRE TORRI for both the men's and women's first teams. So this year's competition has taught them a lesson.

INNOVATIONS FOR THE "TRE TORRI" '04 After pondering over the competition rules for the next edition of the tournament, the organizing committee have decided that individual events will take place on a Friday and Saturday, while team events, both for men and women, will take place on a Sunday. This choice, which will give more significance to the event, has been agreed upon by all the participating teams.

A NEW ADVENTURE Next year we are determined to organize a number of meetings centred upon the TRE TORRI and dealing with the subject of Judo in all its aspects. All this will depend on the resources that will be available to us. We believe it necessary to analyse in depth technical and didactic subjects concerning the preparation of future teachers and Judo experts. An absolute priority is finding out the weak points of Judo movement, in order to make it a valid educational and formative instrument. The spreading of Judo is an objective of primary importance. Judo, if appropriately known, carries important values, very useful to those who practise it. In spite of the many people who devote their lives to make the judo method known to a wide public, it is still insufficiently known and has little social relevance. Finally we believe that pondering on the meaning of Judo as a sporting event, like the TRE TORRI, where a lot of energies are spent, is very important to find new ideas and solutions. We are more and more aware of how important it is to make families, institutions (schools, etc. ..) and adults acquainted with the fact that this discipline can allow the future generations to grow up physically healthy, with sound moral principals, with pacifist and tolerant views.