The IJF Veteran World Championships 2017 continued on Monday with 276 judoka male judoka competing at the Geo Village resort in Olbia, Italy.
Two men’s age groups were contested on day two as the M4 (age 45 – 49) and M5 (50 – 44) judoka took to the tatami. All of the women’s categories will be held on Tuesday, the last day of competition in Olbia.
Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, was in attendance on Monday and addressed the crowd following the last contest on day three.
“Dear Mr. FALCONE (FIJLKAM President), dear Mr. PIREDDA (FIJLKAM Sardinia President), dear judoka, guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great occasion for us to organise the IJF Veteran World Championships in Sardinia in Olbia.
“First of all I wish to ask for your attention, as we have a special guest, our IJF ambassador Al BANO, who will perform a beautiful concert dedicated to you.
“I want to wish you a successful competition, a nice stay in Olbia and congratulations to you all for all your achievements in veteran’s judo.”
IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER presented the Jigoro Kano miniature statue, the IJF Plaque and IJF Veteran World Championships medals to FIJLKAM and IJF delegates
IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER presented IJF Hall of Famer, 10th Dan and IJF Kata Commission Director Mr. Franco CAPELLETTI with a special painting
Hosts FIJLKAM also made a number of awards including honorary Dan grades
IJF Ambassador Al BANO treats the crowd to unforgettable performance
Italian singing sensation Al BANO opened his set, while wearing a judogi, with a rousing rendition of the IJF anthem and thrilled the crowd during a spectacular performance.
The crowd lapped up the 60-minute showcase which featured a duet with famed Romanian recording artist Irina NICOLAE for the smash hit ‘and world-famous song ‘Felicita’.
Al BANO brought the show to a finale with a wonderful version of the IJF anthem as young judoka entered the arena to present the flags of the competing nations at the IJF Veteran World Championships 2017.
Golden showing from Japanese ace
MIYAMOTO Kozo (JPN) was crowned IJF Veteran World champion after starring in the M4 73kg category.
MIYAMOTO, who went to the same school as double world bronze medallist and two-time World Judo Masters winner TASHIRO Miko, was closely followed byRio 2016 Olympic champion BAKER Mashu (JPN) who was among those watching the day three action online.
The Japanese fighter won three of his four contests by ippon including in the final against Riccardo SANTIN (ITA) with a cutting piece of ashi-waza that was so well-executed that even the home crowd applauded despite seeing their judoka taste defeat.
Judo’s Moral Code: Respect
1. a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
MIYAMOTO Kozo shakes the hand of the home judoka he defeated to win gold before bowing to all four corners of the arena after being awarded the M4 -73kg final
“I am shocked to hear that BAKER Mashu was watching,” said MIYAMOTO.
“I am very grateful for all the support I receive, it’s a big help to me. This is the judo way, we are one big family and I feel fortunate to be part of it.”
MIYAMOTO was reluctant to talk about his own victory and the impressive manner in which he achieved it and, a typically humble Japanese judoka, said: “I offered enough to take the win today and that makes me feel happy, I enjoy myself every time I am on the mat and I hope to come back next year.”
Italian Olympic champion returns to the tatami.. as a referee
Sydney 2000 Olympic champion Giuseppe MADDALONI (ITA) was on the tatami at a World Championships once again but on this occasion it was while wearing a black suit instead of a white or blue judogi.
MADDALONI is one of Italy’s four Olympic judo champions, the second in history following Ezio GAMBA in 1980, and he preceded Giulia Quintavalle who won in 2008 and Fabio Basile who starred in 2016.
Hailing from one of the most famous judo families in Italy, the two-time European champion, now 41, moved into coaching juniors and then seniors for the Italian national team after retiring from competitive judo. Formerly a revered judoka and highly-regarded coach, the Italian is now one of the IJF’s new generation of judoka-turned-referee’s.
MADDALONI has been fast-tracked to the IJF level and is enjoying every second of his third career in judo.
“This IJF Veteran World Championships has been a wonderful experience for me so far,” said MADDALONI.
“Now I look at judo in a new way, from a new perspective, I still share the mat to people, but now I am in the centre and I wish to remain anonymous.
“I really like to have this responsibility which is very important and although I am still learning, I now feel comfortable in this new role.
“All I want to do is to contribute to this great sport and help the IJF in any way I can.”
The ippons flowed on day 3 at the Geo Village
Kosovo’s 2015 IJF Veteran world champion Anton CENA had to settle for bronze in the M5 -66kg category.
CENA was his country’s only competitor and was determined to come away with a medal for a country which is undergoing a judo revolution thanks to the exploits of Rio 2016 Olympic champion Majlinda KELMENDI.
CENA now has the backing and financial support of the Kosovo Police to compete in such events following the IJF coverage of his win in 2015.
The M2 age group will compete on the last day of the IJF Veteran World Championships along with all of the women’s age groups and weight categories from the youngest in F1 (age 30 — 34) through to the oldest in F10 (75 — 79).
London 2012 Olympian and four-time senior European Championships medallist Sophie COX (GBR) will be among those to look out for. The Brit will battle it out in the F2 -57kg category.
Tuesday 3 October
09:30: M2 & ALL F CATEGORIES
Location: Geo Village, Olbia, Italy