Over 230 participants gathered at the Matthew Micallef St John Athletics Stadium to participate in the first ever track and field meeting organised by Rush Athletic Club. Despite being the first event early in the national athletic calendar, several athletes reported positive performances, auguring well for the season ahead.
Besides the successful organisation of the event, for Rush AC’s athletes, it was a highly encouraging outing both on track and on the field. In the throwing events, national record holder Luca Martini won the hammer throw with a 53.70m which bodes well for the rest of the season. Teammates Luke Farrugia won the discus throw competition, while Kyle Caruana registered a double in the younger categories, winning both the discus and the shot put.
On track, Rush’s Nicole Attard Glivau registered an impressive comeback after a three-year absence from the sport, winning the 60 metres women event in 7.9 seconds, doubling up with a win on the 300m distance. The men’s event witnessed a strong duel with Warren Zammit edging teammate Raymond Azzopardi by 7.28s to 7.32s. Zammit also triumphed on the 300m distance edging Lamin Sanneh in the final straight. The U18 event was won by Matthew Galea Soler (LSA) in 7.29s, who also triumphed on the 300-metre category race. Pembroke’s Deacon D’Agostino claimed victory in the Under 20s 60m in 7.21s.
It was certainly a day to remember for Rush’s Luca Gerada, who dominated proceedings in the Under 16 category, winning the 60m in 7.83s, the long jump in 4.77m and the discus in 27.92m. In the U16 sprint event, Thea Parnis Coleiro finished first with a great time of 8.05s, ahead of Rush teammate Bianca Shoemake (8.25s) and Pembroke’s Shanesia Azzopardi (8.50s). The same trio took top positions in the long jump, with Azzopardi this time reaching the highest podium. Parnis Coleiro also claimed victory in the 300m race.
Among the youngest athletes, some notable performances were registered by Rush’s Cheziane Debattista, who won the Under 14 sprint and Thea Grech (LSA) who dominated both the long jump and 300m event. Among the boys, Nick Bonnett (Pembroke) won the Under 14 300 metres while the U12 and U10 Girls, were dominated by Rush’s Leah Frendo and Laura Dwornisvak.
In the Under 12 boys sprint, Jamie Azzopardi claimed top spot while Nathan George Bonello won the long jump.
Strong timings were also registered in the longer distances with Jake Fenech (Libertas) and Rachel Borg (Pembroke) winning the 1000m event in 2’40”0 and 3’15”4 respectively. In the Under 16 Thomas Grech (LSA) won his category with a 2’56”00 timing. The longest race, 3000m distance, was dominated by two Pembroke athletes Luke Micallef (8’46”8), followed by Ahmed Kuhadar in 8’58”9.
The event came to an end with a fun race for parents who experienced the joy of competition, in a spirit of unity and togetherness which the sport of athletics can truly bring about.
Event Director Antonella Chouhal commented: “We are extremely satisfied with the fantastic turnout this early in the athletic calendar, and even more so for the results that were achieved in this event. We are proud of the results achieved in all category levels, and this certainly encourages us to work harder as we gear up for what promises to be an exciting season, in the hope of delivering results, records and performances to remember”.