Despite the early August heat, Malta’s top and emerging athletes produced a string of admirable performances during the National Youth Athletics Championships as well as the Seniors Open Challenge organized by the Malta Amateur Athletics Association this weekend.
No less than seven records were broken throughout two event-packed afternoons at the Matthew Micallef St John track in Marsa, with 245 athletes in total participating over the weekend, covering some 46 events.
The National Records broken throughout these events were as follows:
Julian Zarb (La Salle) produced a stellar performance by completing the 1500m steeple chase in 4.58.6, while Pembroke’s Daniel Saliba improved his national record in the Open Category 110m hurdle race, for the second time this year with a strong 15.34s finish time.
Sarah Chouhal (Rush Athletics Club), clocked 1.06.90 on her first time in the 400 metres hurdles, establishing a new national record for both Under 18 and Under 20 age groups.
Antonio Flores (Zurrieq Wolves) broke Malta’s 100m National Paralympic Record by stopping the clock at 12.71s in the 100m T64.
Besides these four records, three athletes achieved a Championship record in their respective age category, these being Luca Gerada (Starmax – U14) with a throw 27.35m in the javelin, Miguel Buttigieg (La Salle Athletics Club – U16) with a throw of 38.62min the discus and Mireya Bugeja (Zurrieq Wolves – U14) who clocked 1.40.53 in the 600 m.
Other remarkable results included St. Patrick’s Luke Bezzina’s 10.88s in the 100m, Zurrieq Wolves’ Jean Paul Debono with 4.06.25 in the 1,500m and Pembroke’s Christian Chetcuti with a personal best of 1.56.96 in the 800m.
Pembroke’s Carla Scicluna (U20) won the 200m race, dipping below 25 seconds in the 200m for the first time of 24.89, in an exciting finish, with Janet Richard clocking 24.90.
The winner of the 400m was Under 20 athlete Luca Farrugia (Rush AC) who subbed the golden 50 seconds for the first time. His time of 49.83s was a personal best and the 3rd best all-time ever recorded in his age category.
Many personal bests were broken during the mixed 5000m race, despite the sweltering heat. The race was won by U20 athlete David Borg hailing from Athletix Gozo in a time of 16.43. Lisa Marie Bezzina from Pembroke Athleta was the first female finisher with 17.02 pipping training partner Joelle Cortis 17.04 (St. Patricks), the pair securing unofficial personal bests.
The presentation ceremony was held yesterday evening.
Commenting at the end of this long series of events, MAAA President Andy Grech said: “Although the MAAA had one of the toughest weeks possible in the buildup to this event, we could not have imagined the pride we felt, watching our younger generation fight to the finish and enjoy themselves. The amount of work we put in was absolutely worth it. These results give us more energy and will to continue our commitment towards the development of this sport on our island”.
Winners of MAAA Youth National Championships
|U12B||60m||Jamie Azzopardi||8.82||Pembroke Athleta|
|Long jump||Jamie Azzopardi||9.94||Pembroke Athleta|
|Ball throw||Ben Camillieri||32.21||San Anton School|
|300m||Jacques Pace||46.87||San Anton School|
|U12G||60m||Thea Grech||9.23||La Salle|
|Long jump||Thea Grech||3.62||La Salle|
|Ball throw||Sophie Alamango||20.60||San Anton School|
|300m||Thea Grech||49.61||La Salle|
|U14B||100m||Thomas Grech||13.94||La Salle|
|75mh||Thomas Grech||12.67||La Salle|
|300m||Luke Fleri||45.66||Pembroke Athleta|
|600m||Luke Fleri||1.41.18||Pembroke Athleta|
|1200m||Thomas Grech||3.35.33||La Salle|
|Thomas Grech||4.31||La Salle|
|High jump||Juan Scerri||1.05||Athletix|
|Shot put||Luca Gerada||9.91||Starmax|
|Javelin||Luca Gerada||27.35 CR||Starmax|
|70mh||Shanesia Azzopardi||11.99||Pembroke Athleta|
|300m||Angela Vella||44.14||Zurrieq Wolves|
|600m||Mireya Bugeja||1.40.54 (CR)||Zurrieq Wolves|
|1200m||Mireya Bugeja||4.08.32||Zurrieq Wolves|
|Long jump||Angela Vella||4.34||Zurrieq Wolves|
|High jump||Bianca Shoemake / Pheebe Portelli||1.23||Starmax / Pembroke Athleta|
|Shot put||Shanesia Azzopardi||10.25||Pembroke Athleta|
|U16B||100m||Gabriel Petroni||11.92||La Salle|
|80mh||Stefan Cassar||17.04||La Salle|
|200m||Matthew Galea Soler||24.47||La Salle|
|400m||Matthew Galea Soler||53.91||La Salle|
|800m||Matthew Galea Soler||2.08.44||La Salle|
|1500m||Noah Portelli||4.49.14||Zokrija Secondary school|
|1500m SC||Julian Zarb||4.58.69 (CB)||La Salle|
|3000m||Julian Zarb||10.23||La Salle|
|Long jump||Benjamin Buhagiar||5.32||Pembroke Athleta|
|High jump||Nathan Saliba||1.53||Pembroke Athlea|
|discus||Miguel Buttigieg (CR)||38.62||La Salle|
|Shot put||Miguel Buttigieg||12.53||La Salle|
|Javelin||Miguel Buttigieg||25.04||La Salle|
|Hammer||Kareem Luca Chouhal||39.79||Rush|
|U16G||100m||Jade Elise Borg||13.30 (HT)||Pembroke Athleta|
|75mh||Jade Elise Borg||12.83||Pembroke Athleta|
|200m||Kay lee Testa||27.09||Pembroke Athleta|
|400m||Kay lee Testa||1.04.84||Pembroke Athleta|
|800m||Michela Caruana||2.25.47||Zurrieq Wolves|
|Long jump||Kay lee Testa||4.66||Pembroke Athleta|
|High jump||Letizia Bonnici||1.50m||Pembroke Athleta|
|discus||Jade Caruana De Brincat||23.05||Rush Athletics club|
|Shot put||Jade Elise Borg||10.45||Pembroke Athleta|