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Sirens smash it at Berlin ISM

Posted By Sportinmalta On March 18, 2016 @ 9:56 pm In Featured,Other,Swimming | No Comments

Gavin Muscat

12.3.16: A stunning 97 per cent personal best hit rate was achieved by swimmers from Sirens ASC as they represented Malta at the International Swimming Meet in Berlin last weekend.

In a competition which featured 106 teams from 27 nations, over 1400 athletes gathered at Berlin’s famous Europasportpark from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th March.  23 of Sirens best took part in 103 starts in the Fina approved Olympic qualifier.

First off the blocks for Malta was 11 year old Emily Grech Carr.  Undaunted by the setting and massive audience,   Emily shaved four seconds off her time for 50m butterfly, achieving 39.28.  Others followed her lead with equally significant times including Kyra Debono, Jessica Powell and Sasha Gatt.

The boys were not to be outdone as Benjamin Scerri, Matthew Zammit, Andrea Malia and Rudi Spiteri  powered through their races, making great times with Spiteri and Malia touching the wall first in their heats.

Accompanied by three coaches and several parents,  the athletes returned to the pool early Saturday morning determined to carry on what they’d started.

13 year old  Leah Tanti swam an amazing 29.80 in the 50m freestyle followed by 36.00 for her 50m breaststroke, the latter granting her another new personal best, as well as a place in the age group final.  Jeremy Bugeja and Michael Umnov also reached the finals after magnificent swims in the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly respectively.

Placing her among the best European, female swimmers born in 2003, Tanti came 9th in the final.  Jeremy Bugeja placed 9th in the 50m freestyle with a time of 25.65 and Michael Umnov swam his 100 butterfly in 56.94, finishing eighth and against Hungarian Olympian Laszlo Cseh.

Spurred on by their team mates, the squad continued to enjoy success throughout the Sunday  session.   Sharone Sant and Daniela Micallef took two seconds off their respective times in the 100m breaststroke and Leah Tanti did it again in the same race achieving a time of 1.19.75.  Doing it for the boys,  Andre Camilleri swam a great personal best of 1.20.81 in his 100m freestyle.

The award for sheer determination undoubtedly belonged to  12 year old year old Benjamin Scerri.  In one of the last races of the competition, the judges tried to recall swimmers due to a technical starting fault.  Oblivious to what was going on, Benjamin continued swimming,  gaining a four second personal best for his 100m freestyle and the biggest applause of the meet.

Head Coach, Daniela Deguara Gatt, was thrilled with the performance of the Sirens squad.  “Without exception, the swimmers have been fantastic.  One or two have even been battling with illness, but they carried on.   All of us have been extremely impressed with their resolve and positivity and given the size and significance of the competition, we are all extremely proud.”



Sirens ASC en route to Berlin


Mutual support before the race


Michael Umnov in 100m butterfly final


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