Mellieħa AC’s Dillon Cassar took home Athletics Malta’s 10k road running National Championship for a second successive year in succession completing the challenging World Athletics-certified route of Ħal Far in a course record of 30 minutes 35 seconds, ahead of Luke Micallef (Pembroke) in 30’52. Among the women, Pembroke’s Lisa Bezzina took home the honour in 35’57, also a course record, edging out Joelle Cortis who clocked 36’03.
Positively, through yesterday’s event, the top two athletes in both categories have achieved the qualifying time required to represent Malta at the upcoming Games of Small States of Europe on this distance. Running qualifying times at this early stage of the season is a significant testament to the quality of our longer distance athletes.
Dillon Cassar (Credit: Matthias Brancaleone)
The race was also valid as the second leg of the Athletics Malta Road Running Series. With different winners in both male and female categories in the first two races, this series will enter into the final two races with all to play for in the top positions.
Among the younger runners, a double for Evolve EC runners with Gabriel Farrugia following-up on his exploits in Monaco the week before and Kyla Farrugia taking first place in the Under 20 category.
International commitments of Maltese athletes
The reigning 10k female road running champion, Evolve’s Roberta Schembri decided to forego this year’s event to have a go at the high-level Barcelona Half Marathon in Spain. She ran a very promising time of 1:17.33, finishing in 24th place amongst the women. This result puts her 26 seconds away from Lisa Bezzina’s national record established in Seville three years ago.
Among the track and field athletes, the weekend brought about a brilliant experience for Maltese throwers at a meeting at the Hassloch Athletics stadium in Germany with Bradley Mifsud and Mireya Cassar winning their respective discus and hammer event with 51.02m and 51.16m throws. Luke Farrugia finished a close second in the men’s category.
The three athletes have now qualified for the European Throwing Cup scheduled in Leiria, Portugal next month.
(Cover Image Credit: Matthias Brancaleone)