PORTO SANT’ELPIDIO. The 23rd edition of the International TRE TORRI Judo Tournament, closed with great success both as regards the organisation of the event and the host town.

Approximately four hundred athletes, together with about one hundred Executives, Team Managers, and technical staff, lent a certain colour to the town of Porto Sant’Elpidio that welcomed these young participants, coming from five different continents and 23 different nations for approximately 10 days.

For this reason, a special word of thanks goes to the Town Council of Porto Sant’Elpidio, to whom the organisers of the event have been engaged in letting it be known for years just how important the TRE TORRI is, as a means of directing the image of this delightful little town throughout the world for purposes of tourism.

Many thanks also go to the Sponsors of the event, and of the utmost importance for this 2007 edition, amongst many others, we must mention: ‘Back up’ of Fornari Giuseppe, which presented the brand names of ‘COMBO’ and ‘I Love my Jeans’.

Again, special thanks have to go to the prestigious shoe factory ‘GALIZIO TORRESI’ of the town of Morrovalle, who, for the first time, took part in this event as a Sponsor and who is certain to add to further growth of the TRE TORRI competition.

The contest kept last year’s formula with its three days of competition – FRIDAY 1st and SATURDAY 2nd June; the athletes did fight in the individual category while SUNDAY 3rd June, the most prestigious national squads faced each other in the team event, which saw Algeria come out on top both in the male category and in the female category, as well.

The event then continued from MONDAY 4th to FRIDAY 8th June, at the same venue of the Palasport in Via Ungheria, with the traditional judo camp open to all athletes, whether they are enrolled or not. A special guest appearance was made by the Japanese Master and former World Champion (Salt Lake City, 1967), the 8th Dan TAKAFUMI SHIGEOKA (from Kanoya, on the island of Kyushu) who held a series of lessons on Judo and Youth teaching, making this judo camp of this 23rd edition singular as regards its quality and educational nature.

Among the athletes with the most titles, let’s mention the Estonian, Aleksei Budolin, in the 81kg category and the Algerian, Soraya Haddad, in the 52 kg Women’s event, both of whom were judged as being the foremost athletes in the competition.

As far as Italy is concerned, in the Men’s category, two medals were awarded: in the 73 kg category for the victory of Marco Maddaloni, the Under-23 European Champion, and Lorenzo Bagnoli who competes in the ranks of the Police in the 81 kg category.

Two medals were decided in the Women’s event: one Gold for Marianna Marinosci, for the Carabinieri Sports Club, in the 63 kg class and Bronze for Cristina Verga who competes for the “Isao Okano” Judo Club in Cinisello, Milan, led by Master Diego Brambilla, Black Belt, 6th Dan in the Under-52 kg category.

The final league tables show the winners of the individual competition of Friday and Saturday as: Taraje Williams Murray in the Men’s 60 kg competition, the American standard bearer. In the 66 kg category, first place goes to the Belgian, Jean Yves Bottieau. In the 73 kg category, the aforementioned Marco Maddaloni stands out and the 81 kg category goes to Cristophe Lambert: to the German, besides the Gold Medal, goes the merit of having beaten the Estonian, Budolin, in the final. In the 90 kg category, first place goes to the Algerian, Amar Benikhief. The Canadian, Edward Scott, gains the 100 kg category, in the only final that was not fought for in the competition. The finalist Despaigne did not appear on the Tatami because of an injury to his knee that he picked up in the semi-finals. In the Over-100 kg category, in a group, where the final players compete against each other in turn to secure first place on he podium, the Slovenian, Jenus Mitja came first.

Among the women, the German, Severine Pesch wins the 48 kg final. The besst athlete of the tournament is Soraya Haddad, who wins the 52 kg class. Besides her, the Algerian takes the Gold, thanks, also in part, to Lila Latrousse, in the 63 kg category. Italy, as has just been said, comes first with Marianna Marinosci, in the 70 kg class, whereas another Algerian, Rachida Ouerdane, takes the Gold in the 78 kgs. class. Josefine Vostry, takes Germany’s second Gold for the women in the 78 kg weight class. France takes possession of the Gold in the Over-78 kg category, all due to the merits of Eva Bisseni.

To embellish the event even more, the organisational staff, with the help of Professor Corrado Croceri, granted a special award of a new judoji offered by the firm “TT Budo International” to illustrious people of the world of judo.

Recognition of sporting merit was awarded to: our fellow country-men, Ezio Gamba and Diego Brambilla; to the Pole, Jasnuz Pawlowski; to the Belgians, Cedric Tymans and Nicole Flagothier; the Portuguese Champion, Michel Almeida; the German, Richard Trautmann and to the Italian Judo Federation team coach, Dario Romano.

We must remember that these 7 former players, from 1979 – 2001, in different periods of time and in different competitions, brought 1 Olympic Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze medals, as well as 2 Silver and Bronze medals from the World Championships and a wealth of other victory medals in University and European contests back to their country.

In the marvellous window of the Sports Centre in Via Ungheria, before we close this 23rd edition of the TRE TORRI International Judo Competition, let’s have a brief summing-up with the general manager, Corrado Croceri.