Giancarlo Tolu, the national bowling coach for juniors, has succeeded in breaking the Guinness World Record by bowling non-stop for 60 hours and 15 minutes - five hours, less a minute, more than the previous record.

Mr Tolu, an Italian who has been living on the island for the past 12 years and considers himself Maltese, was yesterday still ecstatic at having achieved his goal while at the same time raising funds for the Special Olympics (Malta).

The previous record of 55 hours and 16 minutes was held by Austrian Christian Hofer and set in South Africa, last March.

"I feel fantastic," he enthused when contacted yesterday having woken up from a long slumber.

Mr Tolu started his challenge at the Eden Super Bowl in St George's Bay on Friday morning and ended at 7.45 p.m. on Sunday.

He said he managed to battle his tiredness thanks to the support of his friends who stayed with him to cheer him up when the going got tough and occasionally bowling alongside him.

"When they saw I was getting tired they would crack jokes and cheer me on. Everyone was wonderful and I am grateful to all my supporters and Eden Super Bowl staff," he said.

The only hitch happened during the 48th hour of his attempt. The sudden change of weather over the weekend led to colic and Mr Tolu had to stop his diet of protein and stick to crackers and fluids.

Throughout the challenge Mr Tolu bowled using the same hand and unlike other record holders he never changed his 15-pound bowling ball for a lighter ball.

"I played 301 games and this has been a great feat," he said.