Malta’s national triathlon champion Hannah Cutajar wrote her name into Triathlon Malta’s history books on Sunday morning at the European Triathlon Age Group Sprint Championships in Kazan, Russia when she stormed to overall victory, beating a very strong and highly competitive field of women.
This is the first time that a Maltese triathlete has not only taken gold in their Age Group but gone on to win the overall race.
This coveted honour complements the many medals and podiums Cutajar has already won in her relatively short career.
“No words can describe the satisfaction experienced after today’s race,” Cutajar said.
“I first won my Age Group back in 2013 in Alanya, Turkey. It was a special race for many reasons and have been chasing gold ever since.
“The competition here was intense, especially from the Great Britain and Russian athletes yet it is always fun to race on these circuits. This was the first time that the European Championships took a draft legal format, and it was a good change.
“I would like to thank my sponsors – Garmin Malta and Team Barry and the Maltese Olympic Commitee for their support”.
Cutajar showed her dominance from the very start of the 750m swim, when she exited out of the water, with Britain’s Hayley Rigby hot on her heels.
Straight into the 20km bike route, cyclists were met with strong headwinds that made for a tough ride.
Cutajar and Rigby led the pack, however a strong push from the Briton saw her enter a few seconds ahead of Cutajar into the second transition before heading on to the 5km run. Rigby’s lead was short lived, with Cutajar putting in a perfectly executed run, overtaking her after a kilometre.
The Maltese triathlete maintained her lead throughout to finish the race in a time of one hour seven minutes and 17 seconds.
Second and third placed were filled by Great Britain triathletes Holly Dixon and Rigby who crossed the line a minute a 14 seconds behind Cutajar.