After the recent top performances by Malta’s elite athletes at events such as GSSE 2023 and the European Team Championships, the Maltese youngsters were not to be undone and came back from the FISEC Games in Dunkerque with a splended collection of medals and remarkable performances.
The 16 young athletes representing the country achieved significant results, testament that the recent improvement experienced in Maltese athletics is being reflected at youth level. Malta won two gold medals at international championship for boys and girls aged 15 to 17.
The two Maltese athletes to reach the highest place on the podium were Mark Azzopardi in the 100m (11.27s) and Isaac Bonnici on the 800m distance. The latter’s race was a truly exhilariting contest with a number of strong athletes with the Maltese athlete taking glory with a well-executed tactical performance. Jake Vella placed third and claimed bronze in the 200m race.
Among the girls, a fantastic week for Thea Parnis Coleiro winning three silver medals, in the 100m (12.00s) and 200m (25.22s) as well with her teammates Thea Shoemake, Bianca Shoemake and Christiane Zammit on the 4 x 100m relay. In the process, the girls established an Under 18 category record. Similarly, the boys also achieved a reputable second spot, with the team composed of Jeremy Cassar, Kyran Farrugia, Jake Vella and Luca Gerada also setting a new national standard at Under 18 level.
Four of these athletes (Thea Shoemake, Luca Gerada, Thea Parnis Coleiro and Isaac Bonnici) got together to run for Malta in the Swedish Mixed Relay, carrying out one of the best performances at the FISEC Games and establishing the best time ever set not only in their Under 18 category but also at Under 20 and 23 level. In the field, Andrea Grech secured bronze in the long jump with a 6.43m wind-assisted jump.
Euro Under 23 Championship
Over the past week other Maltese athletes were also involved in the Under 23 European Championships held in Espoo, Finland, with Beppe Grillo and Carla Scicluna running both 100 and 200m, while Rachela Pace took to the field with both long jump and the triple. For both sprinters, their timing was significantly off their season best. In the qualifying heat, Carla Scicluna ran her 100m in 12.09s and the 200m in 24.23. Beppe Grillo registered 10.91s on the shorter distance and 21.72 on the 200m mark. Rachela Pace’s best jumps reached 5.68m and 12.66m respectively.
Malta’s participation at this international event was supported by SportMalta.