The Malta Amateur Athletic Association’s first event post Covid-19 kicked off in style with a number of impressive performances by local athletes who registered positive results despite rising temperatures as well as months without any formal competitive events.
This event was also the first in a new era for the association following the election of a new president, Andy Grech, and a new committee.
It was a day to remember for seasoned hammer thrower Luca Martini (Rush AC) who broke Malta’s national record with an impressive throw of 56.96m, improving the previous mark set by Mario Mifsud (Allcomers Aloysians) who finished second.
As in every local and international track competition, the highlight of the afternoon remains the 100 metres in which Luke Bezzina (St Patricks) stormed back to winning ways, with a formidable time for the debut of the season – 11.03 – a whisker above the sub 11 second mark which is the ambition of every local elite 100m sprinter.
Ian Paul Grech (Pembroke Athleta) and Warren Zammit, (Rush AC) finished second and third, with 11.37 and 11.40 respectively.
Claire Azzopardi (Pembroke Athleta) won the 100m women handsomely in a fast 12.38 edging out Sarah Busuttil (Pembroke Athleta) 12.56 and Ylenia Pace 12.78 (St. Patricks) respectively.
The triple jump also had its moment of glory thanks to Ian Paul Grech Grech who leaped to 15.01 metres, just four centimetres short of the national record set by Andy Grech seven years ago during the GSSE in Luxembourg.
President Andy Grech was ecstatic with both the organisation of the event and the results the athletes brought home.
“Even though athletes might not have been competing for the past four months, results show that the athletes and their coaches never stopped working. They effectively managed to combine their creativity and dedication; and their results are testimony to that.”
Antonella Chouhal (Rush AC), an evergreen and countless record holder in the hammer won comfortable the women’s event with a throw of 43.78 metres.
Azzopardi managed the double thanks to the triple jump. The national record holder won the event with a jump of 12.34, another impressive season opener.
Luke Farrugia (Rush AC) outdid by far Mario Mifsud in the discus with 50.17m against 38.21.
The 400m race men ended up as a solo run by Pembroke Athleta’s Christian Luke Chetcuti who finished in 51.72. Savio stalwart Matthew Croker 52.54 placed second ahead of the ever-improving Kirsten Micallef (Rush Ac) in 52.79
In the women’s 400m Sarah Chouhal (Rush AC) won in 1:01.05.
The 200m men was won by the U-18 Pembroke Athleta starlet Jeremy Zammit in 22.81 edging his club mate Chetcuti in 23.67 and the untiring Croker 23.84.
The women’s race was a Pembroke Athleta sole affair dominating it by having the first four finishers on the lines. The win went to Janet Richard in 25.31 ahead of Busuttil (25.63) and Sian Pledger (25.97).
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