We know the Italian athletes have that extra value of their looks. Not just the men, also the women. The men though have the tendency to break through outside the world of judo. Fabio Basile is now a familiar Italian socialite but he is not the only one. In Budapest we will see the return of Marco Maddaloni, 34 years and fight for ….. Albania.
We know the Italian athletes have that extra value of their looks. Not just the men, also the women. The men though have the tendency to break through outside the world of judo. Fabio Basile is now a familiar Italian socialite but he is not the only one. Marco Maddaloni was not super well-known for his performances, but as the winner of Italian TV show Pekin Express in 2013. He was not the only judoka that won the TV show, also abroad other athletes won Pekin Express and it brought Marco access to another career.
Maddaloni is a winner
Maddaloni is extravagant, surprises all the time and is foremost good-looking in TV and in the programs. He can be seen on the covers of the show magazines. The Maddaloni family is well known in judo with Giuseppe as 2000 Olympic Champion and father Maddaloni with his work combining judo and social work in a great project in the South of Italy in Scampia.
Marco though suffered from problems with the Italian Federation in the time that his brother Giuseppe was national coach. Marco: “In that time I was busy with my family, I had two young children and I had to concentrate on my work which I did very well. Still I only wanted to return to fight and retire after a big competition.”
Three months ago the quadruple Italian judo champion again won a big TV show “Isola dei Famosi”.
Marco: “I lived on an island for 3 months. I lived very simple. I had 120 grams of rise every day, without anything on that island. Only swimming and rest. When I came back in Italy, I was 63kg, now I am back to 80kg. But now I want to come back in competition. My start with the team in Albania is serious, but it will take some time. I want to smell and feel a judoka.”
Maddaloni was U23 European Champion in 2004 and 2005. He won various international medals at world and European level. Three years after retiring and being a socialite and businessman, Marco makes his return at the age of 34 at the Grand Prix of Budapest fighting for Albania.
“Yes, I am a business men. I have a Gym and I am personal trainer. I have a club of 2000 square meters. I work as a personal trainer and I work for TV and shows. I speak about my life in a reality show. I present the programs in TV. But of course I want to fight to keep my dignity and I want to try this seriously.”
“I think the best for an athlete is dignity, it is to fight and if you don’t fight you lose your dignity. So I must come back in shape for September, October. Now I am not sure what is the best category U73kg or U81kg. It is a long time ago that I was in competition. So we must be patient in this stage.“
Maddaloni vs Ungvari
In Budapest Marco Maddaloni is opposed to another veteran, Miki Ungvari who is the home favourite of Budapest, he has about the same life style and also became famous in a TV show this year. Miklos Ungvari is even 38 years but still considered as a potential medal winner in Budapest. Both know each-other have fought before in a contest, both U66kg in Rome in 2003, 16 years ago. It was Ungvari who won and he was the European Champion of 2002. Both are unseeded but everything is possible in judo. Look forward to that first round contest!