All eyes on records during athletics bonanza

Friday, May 28, 2010, 11:34

Given the right conditions a host of championship records, if not national records, are set to fall this weekend, when Athletics Malta holds the National Championships for Youths and Cadets.

Stephanie Alden on her way to establish a new record in the triple jump for juniors. Photo by Fernando Sanchez Micallef.

Stephanie Alden on her way to establish a new record in the triple jump for juniors. Photo by Fernando Sanchez Micallef.

Such was the case at the sand pit last Saturday when Stephanie Alden, just back from injury, gave hope to the Association when she established a new junior National Record in the Triple Jump, lowering the mark set by Alessandra Pace just one year ago by 17 centimetres, to 11.56 metres.

The youngsters especially, are really pushing the limits in a number of disciplines, from the sprint events to middle distance to the field. Thomas Farrugia was a mere one hundred of a second from the youth 100m mark and Eric Borg Saywell actually went seven tenths of a second better than his previous mark at the same distance in the lower category. However, as he experienced already in the long jump at a previous meet, the following wind annulled his efforts as it was past the legal limit.

Nicole Gatt, in the 300m as well as in the 1200m, was a whisker away from the marks she herself established over the last few months. To these names, fast becoming established on the scene, one must also mention Luke Bezzina, sisters Rebecca and Rachel Fitz, among other up and coming youngsters knocking on the door of the national selectors. The latter had reason to be pleased by some of the performances of the older athletes who should be representing Malta at the forthcoming European Championships.

The Xuereb twins recorded 12.52 and 12.58 seconds in the 100m, Martina just edging out her sister Francesca. Owen Camilleri ran an encouraging 22.15 seconds in the 200m, while both Matthew Croker and Neil Brimmer again bettered their times at the 400m sprint. Among other senior athletes consolidating their claim to the national side, Andy Grech posted a personal best in winning the 100m in 11.03 seconds, Alessandra Pace cleared 5.91 metres in the Long Jump and Rachid Chouhal went 6 cm over the 7-metre mark at the same event for men.

With hardly any strong opposition in the medium distance events, Mark Herrera stopped the clock on 1.56.41 minutes in the 1500m and just as lonely, Lisa Marie Bezzina registered 4:53.85 in hers. To afford the senior athletes extra competition, the Association will be adding on events at this week-end’s competition with the Hammer and the 110m hurdles stating off the programme on Saturday at 1330 hours with the events on Sunday commencing 1400 hours.

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