Malta placed 10th out of a total of 15 European federations at the European Team Championships 3rd League, held in Tbilisi last week.
The 3rd League was won by Cyprus who withstood a strong challenge from Iceland to preserve their status. Both nations secured promotion to the 2nd League.
Malta was at one point vying for eighth place but dropped below Bosnia and Montenegro in the final classification.
“Although the target of the MAAA team was ninth place, there were a number of outstanding performances by some of the Maltese athletes,” the MAAA said in a statement.
The best performance was undoubtedly that of Kevin Moore. He became the first Maltese to win an event at the European Team Championship when he stormed to victory in the 200m.
Despite seemingly making a laboured start, Moore gained ground in the straight to emerge clear winner.
Moore said he was happy to have bagged full points for Malta in the 200m and was pleased with his time of 21.06 which was achieved against a headwind of -1.2m/s.
Rebecca Camilleri, currently in the top 50 in Europe’s long jump rankings, put in a very strong challenge for top spot.
Despite a strong headwind, on her third attempt, she jumped 6.25 metres to secure second place behind Hafdis Sigurdardottir, of Iceland, who won the event in 6.41m.
In a quick comment after the event, Camilleri said that things were shaping up well for the Commonwealths next month where she plans to reach her peak.
One of the most exciting performances was produced by Janet Richard, 16.
Despite returning only recently from injury, the talented athlete was a runaway winner in the 400m Race A. She was subsequently ranked the overall 400m winner after the Race B was held but the final rankings were questioned by different federations.
Although the situation remained unclear even after the end of the meeting, Richard’s showing underlined the fact that she is one of the rising stars of Maltese athletics.
Relay team third
The women’s 4x100m relay team finished a very creditable third overall after winning Race A in a seasonal best of 46.88.
The quartet, composed of Rachel Fitz, Diane Borg, Rebecca Sare and Camilleri, were outsmarted by GSSE rivals Cyprus and Iceland who were first and second, respectively.
Borg, whose contribution in the 4x100m relay earned Malta 13 points, won a further 24 points by finishing fourth in both the 100m and the 200m.
While expressing her satisfaction at her two seasonal bests of 12.00 in the 100m and 24.81 in the 200m, Borg was confident that she could improve further in the weeks to come.
In Georgia, MAAA president Edwin Attard looked satisfied with the final result despite the fact that his stated objective was ninth place.
“I want to commend our athletes for their efforts,” he said.
“The 2014 championships provided us with some important benchmarks for the future. We shall now shift focus on the technical preparation of the team ahead of the 2015 championships which will be staged in Azerbaijan.”
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