The Maltese women 4×100 relay team got the perfect tonic five weeks ahead of GSSE 2023 with a splendid national record at the Marsa Athletics Stadium with Thea Parnis Coleiro, Janet Richard, Carla Scicluna and Charlotte Wingfield registering a time of 45.37s, and improving on Team Malta’s performance at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games last year.
The ladies relay team was competing against San Marino during a race held in the margins of the Fourth Athletics Malta Challenge Meeting of the season. Ironically, the only member of the team missing from the Birmingham exploit was Claire Azzopardi, who was busy setting her own national record in the triple jump. Azzopardi produced a superlative 13.04m jump, having the better of Rebecca Sare (12.83m) in the process.
The 200m sprints for both men and women proved to be incredible exciting affairs. The men’s race meant hard work for the photofinish officials at the Marsa Track with Graham Pellegrini and Beppe Grillo registering the same 21.17 time, with the former taking top spot by a mere three thousandths of a second (21.172 vs 21.175s). In doing so, Pellegrini registered a new national Under 23 and Under 20 record. In the female race, it was a very fast neck and neck between Janet Richard and Carla Scicluna with the former having the better with a time of 23.91s against Scicluna’s 23.98s.
Grillo performed well also on the 100m with a wind-assisted 10.59s finish time.
Remarkable performances were also registered in the 400m with Under 18 athlete Kay Testa winning in 57.98s ahead of Josepha Marie Micallef in 59.60s. Youngster Mireya Bugeja confirmed that her performances earlier this season were no one-offs as she demonstrated resiliency and consistency with yet another win in 4:43.97 on the 1500m distance.
The longest distance of the afternoon at Marsa was a spectacular 5000m men’s race with three of Malta best runners on the distance battling it out lap after lap. Indeed, the race did spring a surprise with Simon Spiteri eclipsing Dillon Cassar and Luke Micallef to win in 14’34, registering the best time ever registered by a Malta-based athlete on the distance. Dillon Cassar came second more then five seconds behind.
Youngster Gabriel Farrugia completed the race in 15’09, as he continues to take off more seconds from the Under 20 national record firmly in his possession.
Among the Maltese athletes competing abroad, Gina Mcnamara claimed a national record on the 1500m at the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville in with a time of 4:24.13 eclipsing Paula Grech’s 4:26.12 which stood since June 2019. Jeremy Zammit did himself and his country proud, winning the Crimson Tide Invitational in Tuscaloosa in the USA with a 7.44m jump.