Galea, Vella Wood stamp Saints superiority

Monday, September 3, 2012, 22:00

Following their remarkable performance in the second race of the series, Birkirkara St. Joseph triathletes went one step further by winning both the males’ and the females’ category in the third race of their Club’s Triathlon Series 2012.  This series of four races is sponsored by Festina and The Cyclist, and is organised under the auspices of the Malta Triathlon Association.


The race started with a 750-metre swim at Salina Bay.   Birkirkara St. Joseph triathletes David Agius Lia and Keith Galea led the field finishing this first segment of the race in 11 minutes, 17 seconds and 11 minutes 19 seconds respectively. Third out of the water was Graham Borg in 11 minutes, 55 seconds.  After the ensuing 20-kilometre bike segment, Galea reached transition area in 29 minutes 43 seconds, followed by team-mate Rudolph Agius (29:56), and Graham Borg (30:18) in third place.  Galea kept a relentless pace in the final 5-kilometre run, finishing it in 17 minutes, 50 seconds, to win the race in 59 minutes, 42 seconds and maintain his unbeaten run this season.  Rudolph Agius was unthreatened in second place with a run of 19 minutes, 32 seconds, to finish the race in 1 hour, 2 minutes , 43 seconds.  Following a disappointing start to the race, Steve Chetcuti found his feet in the final run to climb gradually to third place, running the distance in 19 minutes, 4 seconds.  He finished the race in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 8 seconds, to complete a full podium for Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club.


The females’ race turned out to be a major surprise, as national champion Danica  Bonello Spiteri of St. Patrick’s A.C. suffered a rare defeat at the hands of her Birkirkara St. Joseph rivals.   She finished her 750-metre swim a massive one minute, 32 seconds ahead of the Birkirkara Club contenders.  Margaret Seguna (Mellieha A.C.) (12:11) and Hannah Pace (12:14) were trailing the champion at the end of the swim.  As expected, Michelle Vella Wood of Birkirkara St. Joseph turned on the power in the 20-kilometre cycle returning back to transition area in 32 min, 26 seconds, leading the champion by 5 seconds.  Johanna Calleja (Birkirkara St. Joseph) was third, one minute, 10 seconds behind Bonello Spiteri.  Visibly struggling in the final 5-kilometre run, the champion could not produce her final assault on the leader, while Calleja was closing the gap every kilometre.  Half way through the run, Vella Wood’s advantage was enough to see her cruise to victory, running the 5 kilometres in 21 minutes, 25 seconds, to finish the race in 1 hour, 7 minutes, 43 seconds.  Champion Bonello Spiteri succumbed also to Calleja’s relentless pace, the latter registering the best running time of the day in 21 minutes, 9 seconds, to finish in 1 hour, 8 minutes 41 seconds, nine seconds in front of Bonello Spiteri.


The first relay team to finish the triathlon was made up of M. Mifsud (swim), S. Sciberras (bike) and A. Camilleri (run).  They finished the race in 57 minutes, 54 seconds.  A first-time for this series was the participation of a relay team made up of disabled athletes.  O. Scicluna did the swim, N. Aquilina the bike, and D. Vandit the run, and they finished the race in 1 hour, 37 minutes, 19 seconds.


The fourth and final race of this series will be held on Sunday, 16 September 2012, at Salina starting at 7:30 a.m.  Full race results can be downloaded from the Club’s website:


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