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Sirens ASC sign off 2014 in Sicily

Posted By Sportinmalta On January 13, 2015 @ 6:00 pm In Featured,Waterpolo | No Comments

After a brief respite from training on Christmas Day, 15 of the Sirens ASC squad and their coaches travelled to Sicily on 27 December to attend the Panettone Swimming Cup competition in Catania.


Although the competition was appropriately named to mark the Christmas festivities, the serious tone of the 25m short course meet was evident. Organised by the Italian Swimming Federation of Sicily, Sirens swimmers faced competition from almost 300 athletes from 24 clubs around the country aged between 12 and 18.


The meet was held throughout the day on 28 December. Friendly support, smooth transition between races and a pool heated cleverly by solar panels ensured the comfort of the Sirens squad who, against a high level of competition, delivered from the start. Out of 38 individual swims, the squad scored a 68% personal best rate, together with several podium finishes.


Michaela Cutajar, Jeremy Bugeja and Daniel Sammut shaved significant seconds off their times for 200m freestyle and Matthew Borg Galea and Karl Cumbo each took ten seconds off their existing times for 200m butterfly and 200m breaststroke respectively.


Age group podium finishes were achieved by Kim Castelletti, (silver, 100m back) Charis Ceccarelli, (bronze, 200m fly) and Alexandra McGonigle, (gold, 100m breast and bronze,100m free).


In the relays, warm support by the locals helped Sirens boys finish sixth out of 13 for their 4×50 freestyle and the mixed squad, fourth out of nine.


Elite squad coach, Catalin Stan was delighted with the results. “Even though better pb’s are to be expected in a 25 metre pool, we’re happy with the times after a tough year. Technique comes into play with an increased number of turns and the squad has proven its technical prowess as well as its commitment to speed in the water.”


Among the enthusiastic spectators at the competition were many of the Sirens parents who travelled with the squad and experienced firsthand the challenges and importance of international competition.


“International competition, no matter how near, is vital for the development of our swimmers, pointed out Head coach, Daniela Deguara Gatt. “At a competitive level, no athlete can afford to become complacent with the swimming environment at home, so it’s important to experience different situations and a wide variety of competition. That in itself is a challenge as well as a new experience for many, so we’re delighted with their performance.”


As ever, daily training continues for the whole squad in preparation for the monthly Age Group time trials and the Annual Easter Meet which starts on 9 April.

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