As a new year beckons, it is only natural for people to start looking back at the previous 12 months to try and identify the best sporting moment.
Thankfully, for those involved in Maltese athletics, there is plenty from which to choose including the positive side-effect of the success obtained at the Games of the Small States of Europe.
Despite the spate of encouraging results right across the board, there can be little debate over which athlete made the biggest impact – Charlotte Wingfield.
The 20-year-old, who qualified to don our colour through her father, made her local debut last year and, as the cliché goes, took local athletics by storm as she ended the season with a few national records to her name.
For her, however, the highlight was the European Games in Baku for pretty justifiable reasons.
“I set a national record of 11.69s in the 100m in Baku,” she explains.
“Baku was an amazing experience; and it was an experience spent with a team. I wanted to make Malta proud and that day I felt like I did.
“Not only did I break the 100m national record but we also lowered the 4x100m national record too. I shed a tear that day, really.
“This was a memory to remember and I couldn’t have spent a week with a better team.”
It also justified her decision to turn out for Malta.
“Running for Malta opened me up many opportunities which I never thought I would get let alone achieve,” Wingfield said.
“Last season made me proud to be Maltese, running for Malta and making them satisfied makes me the best possible athlete I can be.
“In 2015, I was set for a challenge ‘the new girl on the block’. I didn’t want to be that person everyone hated, but I wanted to show everyone that I can make the country proud.
“Wearing the Malta colours is a privilege and I’m so happy that I have got the opportunity.”
In the meantime, Wingfield said that being chosen as the athlete of the year makes her “want to work even harder for next season.”
“Competing in Rio would be a dream come true and I am willing to put in as much work as possible to make sure I am part of the team,” she said.
“The new season will start off with a few indoor races to see where I am at but my main focus will be outdoors and keep the good results coming for the country.”
Wingfield’s male counterpart, and another athlete who had a stellar 2015, was Kevin Moore.
The man who holds the record in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 4x400m excelled once again in the Iceland GSSE and, unsurprisingly, picks his results there as his best moment of the past year.
“The highlight of 2015 was winning the 200m and 400m events in Iceland,” he said.
“I have been running for Malta since 2011 now and the feeling never gets old, it feels great representing Malta, especially at big competitions abroad.”
Those results have seen Moore being chosen as the best male athlete of the year.
“I am very honoured and privilege to be Male Athlete of the Year, it makes all the hard training even more worth it,” Moore said.
For all his pride, however, his focus is already on the coming season.
“I am currently in heavy training for the 2016 season,” he revealed.
“The aim is to represent Malta at the Rio Games. I already had my first race on December 17.”
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