Keith Galea is new triathlon champion

Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 16:33

Danica Bonello Spiteri secures her 9th Championship title

Keith Galea saw his dream come true on Sunday 3rd October when he crossed under the Finish Gantry at the end of the 22nd edition of the National Triathlon Championships which were held at the Salina Coast Road. Though not the winner of the Race – that honour went to Britain’s Mark Sykes – Galea was a very close second, with just a mere 15 seconds separating the two athletes; however, nothing could dampen the sheer delight of having grasped the Championship – a title which has eluded him for the past 3 years.

Danica Bonello Spiteri, on the other hand, though clearly pleased at having secured her 9th Championship title after having fended off a strong challenge from Britain’s Michelle Scott, romped home to a cheering crowd, well used by now to seeing her cross the line in first place.

It was a memorable day for the local Triathlon scene which, for the first time in its history, saw 118 athletes participating in any one of the 3 races organised by the Malta Triathlon Association in collaboration with the B’Kara St Joseph Sports Club. The Sprint Race (Swim: 750m; Bike: 20km; Run: 5km) was won by John Scicluna in a time of 1hr:08m:37s, while the first woman was Margaret Seguna in 1hr:20m:38s. The Relay Team Event was open only for the Olympic Distance (Swim: 1500m; Bike: 40km; Run: 10km). In all 17 Teams took part and the winning team, which consisted of Swimmer Ruth Zerafa, Cyclist David Galea and Runner Johann Galea, stopped the clocks at 2hrs:03m:58s.

The main emphasis of the Championships, however, was the Olympic Distance Race. The spectacular start of this event saw no less than 62 athletes dive into the placid waters of Salina and head out into the bay. Unsurprisingly, Mark Zammit exited the water first in a time of 21m:03s; however, his lead over his nearest rivals, Mark Sykes and Keith Galea, was quickly eroded away in the Cycle and Run segments of the Race. The Brit had the fastest cycle time of 59m:26s, followed by Galea in 60m:26s. The best Run time went to the Senior athlete, Brian Magri, who did a time of 35m:31s. Although he only managed the 4th best Run time, Mark Sykes went on to win the Race in 2hrs:02m:57s, followed by the ecstatic Galea in 2hrs:03m:12s. In third place finished Brian Magri in 2hrs:05m:14s.

Despite having a slower swim time than that of her closest rival, Danica Bonello Spiteri powered to the front of the Race in the Cycle segment and continued to consolidate on her advantage in the Run. Britain’s Michelle Scott had the best swim time of 22m:52s, two minutes faster than Bonello Spiteri; at this stage, Malta’s other hopeful, Donatelle Callus was lying in 5th place. Bonello Spiteri had the best cycle time of 1hr:09m:45s and went on to win the race in 2hrs:24m:55s. She was followed home by Scott five minutes later; Donatelle Callus, who was clearly catching up on the Brit, had to content herself with third place in a time of 2hrs:30m:53s. The best run time went to Marica Micallef who did the 10km in 43m:57s.

The Seniors’ Race was won by Britain’s Bill Livingstone from Venom Club in a time of 2hrs:26m:32s. In second place was another Brit, Niall Wass (2hrs:29:05), while third place went to Malta’s Richard Camilleri in 2hrs:30m:20s.

The Malta Tourism Authority invited the two top British athletes Michelle Scott and Mark Sykes to participate in the Championshiip, while it also invited top officials from Japan’s leading Triathlon magazine to take part in the Race and to report about it.

The main sponsor of the Championships was Joseph F. Spiteri & Co. Ltd (1927), agent for KEE KLAMP. The other sponsors of the Race were Quest Vitamins, the Plum Tree Restaurant and Kristal Water.

1 Comment

  1. princess says:

    go mark. im very proud to be your wag. hopefully ill get 2 watch you cross the finish line next year.


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