Since 2022, the International Judo Federation has put a limit on participation to the first 100 judokas in each category.
Last year, none of the Maltese judokas were anywhere close to participating. This year, not just one, but two judokas qualified.
Isaac Bezzina, competing -100kgs class, earned his place way back in October when he won his medal in the Oceania Judo Open in Perth, which had the same points as a Grand Prix.
Another boost for Bezzina was the recent medals in Tunis and Algeria African Opens that lifted him to 72nd place on the ranking list.
Katryna Esposito, who competes in the -48kg class, earned her place last weekend in Antalya, when she shot up 31 places when she made it to the last 16 round.
Esposito had already earned a good amount of points with her two bronze medals in Tunis and Algeria African Opens. She is currently in 82nd place on the ranking list.
These two judokas will travel to Doha at the beginning of May, where they will represent Malta at the World Senior Championships.
This will be one of the last events before the team fights at the Games of the Small States of Europe to be held in Malta.
In a statement, the Malta Judo Federation said: “We are very proud of the Judo Squad Members, under the leadership of Sensei Aurelian Fleisz, and all the volunteers and coaches who work with the team.
“These results would not be possible without the support of the NDSF funds made available by the Government of Malta, and the support of the Maltese Olympic Committee.”
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