Hannah Pace grabs two Silvers while Bonello Spiteri is crowned European Triathlon Champion

Friday, June 3, 2016, 11:35

Hannah Pace grabs two Silvers while Bonello Spiteri is crowned European Triathlon Champion in Lisbon 2016

Gavin Muscat

It was girl-power time for the Malta Triathlon Federation at the European Triathlon Championships which were held across this weekend in the Portuguese Capital of Lisbon, as Hannah Pace finished second in her age category in both the Sprint and the Standard Distance Triathlons, while Danica Bonello Spiteri topped the classification of her category in the Standard Distance.

Both races were centred around the impressive Parque das Nações at the Eastern end of Lisbon, an area which heavily transformed into an ultra-modern urban area for the World Expo of 1998. The Sprint Race was held on Friday on the distances of 750 metres swim, 20 kms cycle and 5kms run, while the Standard (Olympic) distance championships were held on Sunday on double the distances.

The other female contingents of the team also had some remarkable showings as Bonello Spiteri was fourth in the Sprint Distance with Michelle Vella Wood closely behind for the fifth position in the Sprint and eighth in the Standard while Nina Zammit grabbed ninth place in the Sprint and Lara Buttigieg was tenth at their continental debut.

The team also consisted of young male triathletes, Shaun Galea and Neil Markham, both on their first outing at the European Triathlon Championships. Galea was fourteenth in Sprint on Friday and 69th from a field of almost 500 athletes, while Markham was ninteenth in the Sprint and fifteenth in the Standard race. Both registered improved personal racing time during these championships.

Commenting soon after the end of the races, Triathlon Malta’s President Cyprian Dalli was visibly satisfied and elated by the team’s performance in Lisbon. ‘We have once again managed to put the small island of Malta on the map of Continental Triathlon with some great results and impressive podium finishes’, said Dalli while reporting back directly from the race venue. ‘The team this year was markedly young, with an average age of 24 years, and managing such important targets with this athletes underlines the growth and development of Triathlon in Malta in the past years and consolidates the vision and targets for the years ahead. This great group of athletes did incredibly well and against all odds and I am extremely proud of every single one of them!’ concluded the MTF President.

During the past days, Dalli also attended the European Triathlon Union’s Annual General Assembly which was held in conjunction with the Championships. Other meetings included a face-to-face meeting with the ETU’s Development Board to analyse, discuss and lay plans for an increased progression and expansion of multisport on the island.

The participation of the Triathlon Malta team in these championships was made possible through the funding of the Maltese Olympic Committee and the support of the European Triathlon Union.

Photo by Cyprian Dalli

All the Triathlon Malta athletes at the European Triathlon Championships - Lisbon 2016 (from left to right Shaun Galea, Neil Markham, Hannah Pace, Michelle Vella Wood, Danica Bonello Spiteri, Nina Zammit and Lara Buttigieg)

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