Malta’s Olympic Preparation

Friday, July 6, 2012, 8:00


Rachid Chouhal, Diane Borg and Mario Bonello at Spectrum, Guilford, Surrey

With barely 3 weeks to go from the start of the Olympic Games in London, the Maltese athletics team is finalizing its preparations in a bid to further improve the performances already registered this year.  At the end of June, the Malta Amateur Athletics Association has sent its two-athlete contingent to represent Malta at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki.

Malta’s Sports Women of the Year Diane Borg participated in the 100m and 200m events running the distances in 12.14sec and 24.68sec respectively.  These were not the best performances for Diane this year (having already run 11.95sec for the 100m event and a new national record of 24.15sec in the 200m).  However, it must be said that the European Championships did not pose an end in themselves as they were part of the buildup for the ultimate sporting Games, the Olympics.

On the other hand, the male participant, Rachid Chouhal, had mixed results in Helsinki, having run close to his seasonal best in the 100m (10.86sec as compared to his 10.83 sec run earlier this year) but having to quit a few meters after the start of the 200m event due to a gastric condition.

As part of the Olympic preparations, the Malta Olympic Committee, in conjunction with the London 2012 organizing committee, then organized a camp for the athletes, who joined coach Mario Bonello in Guildford, Surrey for a week long training stage.  Diane and Rachid trained at the Spectrum Complex, housing the track at which the last Caucasian Olympic 100m gold medal winner Alan Wells (Moscow 1980) coaches till this very day.  The athletes here experienced some of the weather conditions that they might have to negotiate during the Olympic Games, with London having had the wettest June in 50 years!

The final preparations for the Olympics will now take place in Malta, with the athletes making the best of the 20/20 Schemes as run by KMS to get in their best shape for the panicle of all sporting events.  At the Games, both Diane and Rachid will participate in what is probably the most contested event, the 100m, where the battle is not only between individuals (with the likes of Bolt, Blake, Powell, Gay, Gatlin on the men’s side and Frazer Pryce, Campbell-Brown, Jetter, Felix on the women’s end) but also between THE superpowers of sprinting Nations, Jamaica and USA.

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