Athletics: String of records broken during Youth Championships and Seniors’ Open Challenge

Ritratt: Wally Galea

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Despite the early August heat, Malta’s top and emerging athletes produced a string of admirable performances during the National Youth Athletics Championships and the Seniors Open Challenge organised by the Malta Amateur Athletics Association this weekend.

No less than seven records were broken throughout two event-packed afternoons at the Matthew Micallef St John track in Marsa, with no less than 245 athletes in total participating over the weekend, covering some 46 events.

Photo credit: Wally Galea

The National Records broken throughout these events were as follows:

Julian Zarb (La Salle) produced a stellar performance by completing the 1500m steeple chase in 4.58.6, while Pembroke’s Daniel Saliba improved his national record in the Open Category 110m hurdle race, for the second time this year with a strong 15.34s finish time.

Sarah Chouhal (Rush Athletics Club), clocked 1.06.90 on her first time in the 400 metres hurdles, establishing a new national record for both Under 18 and Under 20 age groups.

Antonio Flores (Zurrieq Wolves) broke Malta’s 100m National Paralympic Record by stopping the clock at 12.71s in the 100m T64.

Besides these four records, three athletes achieved a Championship record in their respective age category, these being Luca Gerada (Starmax – U14) with a throw 27.35m in the javelin, Miguel Buttigieg (La Salle Athletics Club  –  U16) with a throw of 38.62min the discus and Mireya Bugeja (Zurrieq Wolves – U14) who clocked 1.40.53 in the 600 m.

Other remarkable results included St. Patrick’s Luke Bezzina’s 10.88s in the 100m, Zurrieq Wolves’ Jean Paul Debono with 4.06.25 in the 1,500m and Pembroke’s Christian Chetcuti with a personal best of 1.56.96 in the 800m.

Sarah Couhal / Photo credit: Wally Galea

Pembroke’s Carla Scicluna (U20) won the 200m race, dipping below 25 seconds in the 200m for the first time of 24.89, in an exciting finish, with Janet Richard clocking 24.90.

The winner of the 400m was Under 20 athlete Luca Farrugia (Rush AC) who subbed the golden 50 seconds for the first time. His time of 49.83s was a personal best and the 3rd best all-time ever recorded in his age category.

Many personal bests were broken during the mixed 5000m race, despite the sweltering heat. The race was won by U20 athlete David Borg hailing from Athletix Gozo in a time of 16.43. Lisa Marie Bezzina from Pembroke Athleta was the first female finisher with 17.02 pipping training partner Joelle Cortis 17.04 (St. Patricks), the pair securing unofficial personal bests.

The presentation ceremony was held yesterday evening.

Commenting at the end of this long series of events, MAAA President Andy Grech said: “Although the MAAA had one of the toughest weeks possible in the buildup to this event, we could not have imagined the pride we felt, watching our younger generation fight to the finish and enjoy themselves. The amount of work we put in was absolutely worth it. These results give us more energy and will to continue our commitment towards the development of this sport on our island”.

The full list of winners in the National Youth Championships is available below.

Winners of MAAA Youth National Championships

U12B60mJamie Azzopardi8.82Pembroke Athleta
Long jumpJamie Azzopardi9.94Pembroke Athleta
Ball throwBen Camillieri32.21San Anton School
300mJacques Pace46.87San Anton School
U12G60mThea Grech9.23La Salle
Long jumpThea Grech3.62La Salle
Ball throwSophie Alamango20.60San Anton School
300mThea Grech49.61La Salle
U14B100mThomas Grech13.94La Salle
75mhThomas Grech12.67La Salle
300mLuke Fleri45.66Pembroke Athleta
600mLuke Fleri1.41.18Pembroke Athleta
1200mThomas Grech3.35.33La Salle
Long jumpThomas Grech4.31La Salle
High jumpJuan Scerri1.05Athletix
discusLuca Gerada18.72Starmax
Shot putLuca Gerada9.91Starmax
JavelinLuca Gerada27.35 CRStarmax
4×100La Salle  
U14G100mThea Shoemake13.45Starmax
70mhShanesia Azzopardi11.99Pembroke Athleta
300mAngela Vella44.14Zurrieq Wolves
600mMireya Bugeja1.40.54 (CR)Zurrieq Wolves
1200mMireya Bugeja4.08.32Zurrieq Wolves
Long jumpAngela Vella4.34Zurrieq Wolves
High jumpBianca Shoemake / Pheebe Portelli1.23Starmax / Pembroke Athleta
discusHailey Ballucci17.31Athletix
Shot putShanesia Azzopardi10.25Pembroke Athleta
JavelinHailey Ballucci13.44Athletix
U16B100mGabriel Petroni11.92La Salle
80mhStefan Cassar17.04La Salle
200mMatthew Galea Soler24.47La Salle
400mMatthew Galea Soler53.91La Salle
800mMatthew Galea Soler2.08.44La Salle
1500mNoah Portelli4.49.14Zokrija Secondary school
1500m SCJulian Zarb4.58.69 (CB)La Salle
3000mJulian Zarb10.23La Salle
Long jumpBenjamin Buhagiar5.32Pembroke Athleta
High jumpNathan Saliba1.53Pembroke Athlea
discusMiguel Buttigieg (CR)38.62La Salle
Shot putMiguel Buttigieg12.53La Salle
JavelinMiguel Buttigieg25.04La Salle
HammerKareem Luca Chouhal39.79Rush
4×100La Salle  
U16G100mJade Elise Borg13.30 (HT)Pembroke Athleta
75mhJade Elise Borg12.83Pembroke Athleta
200mKay lee Testa27.09Pembroke Athleta
400mKay lee Testa1.04.84Pembroke Athleta
800mMichela Caruana2.25.47Zurrieq Wolves
1500mDanielle Bonnici5.09.40Starmax
Long jumpKay lee Testa4.66Pembroke Athleta
High jumpLetizia Bonnici1.50mPembroke Athleta
discusJade Caruana De Brincat23.05Rush Athletics club
Shot putJade Elise Borg10.45Pembroke Athleta
JavelinNicole Farrugia13.18Starmax