Abdel Harim El Fethi is the winner of the 2016 Malta Marathon as the Moroccan runner produced a strong finish to top the 42km race at Sliema Ferries.

Running against strong winds, El Fethi led the race alongside fellow compatriots Ahmed Nassef, Lachem Morhazi and defending champion Mohammed Hajjy who was bidding for his sixth successive victory.

But in the final two kilometres, El Fethi, Nassef and Morhazi sped clear of Hajjy to set up a tense finale.

In the end it was El Fethi who produced the strongest burst of speed to cross the finish line first in 2:18.56, just ahead of Nassef and Morhazi.

Hajjy had to settle with fourth place.

Jonathan Balzan was the first local runner to cross the finish line when placing eighth overall. He clocked two hours 40 minutes and 59 seconds.

The women’s title was won by Croatian runner Nicolina Sustich who crossed the finish line in two hours 50 minutes and 56 seconds.

Josann Attard Pulis placed second overall for the second successive year in a new personal best time of two hours 56 minutes and five seconds.

Gozitan runner Charlton Debono won the half-marathon when crossing the finish line first in 1.10.40. Romania’s Livio Crotoriu was second ahead of Andrew Grech.

Scotland’s Joasia Zakrzewski won the women’s race when completing the distance in 1:22.19.

Italy's Roberta Ferris was second ahead of Mellie─ža AC runner Rita Galea who clocked 1:23.55.


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