Field and Track Winter Championships produce fine results, draws crowds

Thursday, March 2, 2017, 22:51

Gavin Muscat

The Malta Amateur Athletics Association’s annual Track and Field Winter Championships attracted a sizeable crowd to the Matthew Micallef St John Track in Marsa on Saturday 25th February.

For the spectators looking forward to some determined performances and hard fought competitions, the near two hundred strong athlete gathering certainly did not disappoint.

The 60m Men and Women finals were the climax of the afternoon. In the Women’s race it was a very tight finish with just 0.07 separating the first four athletes. At the end, it was Janet Richard who prevailed over Rachel Fitz. Although Richard and Fitz in fact clocked the same time of 7.78 seconds, the photo-finish showed that Richard was a whisker in front.

In the men’s 60m final Luke Bezzina dominated and his winning time of 6.94 confirmed that he is good form prior to representing Malta in the European Athletics Indoor Championships which will be held in Belgrade next week.

The Women’s 3000m race was won by Lisa Bezzina, another consistent athlete who has been clocking some impressive times.  Bezzina had a battle with Mona Lisa Camilleri and in the end less than four seconds separated them at the finish line.

Meanwhile in the Men’s 3000m, Simon Spiteri’s strong finish was very much in evidence as he pulled away from Jean Paul Debono and Dario Mangion in the final lap. Spiteri’s fighting spirit won him many races last year. This spirit does not seem to be diminishing this year, so he is another athlete to watch out for.

In the Men’s 600m, top three placings were taken by Matthew Croker, Neil Brimmer and Jean Paul Debono. Croker’s winning time of 1:23.41 showed that his preparations for the 800m are going well.

In the younger categories, the promise of a good showing by young athletes the likes of Alessia Cristina, Rachela Pace, Sarah Bartolo, Sarah Chouhal, Sean Spiteri, Kurt Zahra was kept.

In the Youths Girls 60m race, Alessia Cristina who was a star performer in last year’s European Kids Athletics competition in Brno was an outright winner in a time of 7.93 to win over Sarah Bartolo and Rachela Pace. The same trio dominated the Youths Girls Long Jump albeit with different podium placings. This time, first place was taken up by Pace, followed by Cristina and Bartolo.

Synonymous with athletics, the surname Chouhal has over the years produced some remarkable moments. Top placings were kept in the family on the day when in the Youth Girls Hammer Throw it was the young Sarah Chouhal, that registered an all-time category best of 40.07.  In the Women’s Open Hammer category, veteran athlete Antonella Chouhal registered a distance of 42.46m.

Other noteworthy performances were registered by young Kurt Zahra and Sean Spiteri who were first and second respectively in the Youth Boys 60m, while Sean Spiteri took top billing in the Youth Boys Long Jump having beaten Luka Aras into second place. In the Intermediate category sprinters like Carla Scicluna, the Elaida twins and Nassim Dardouri showed excellent form. It is clear that with their level of commitment and dedication that they will soon establish themselves amongst the best sprinters on the island.





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