Ninety triathletes took to the Salina Coast Road on Sunday morning for the first triathlon race of the Go & Fun BSJ Sprint Triathlon series organised by Birkirkara St Joseph Sports Club and held under the auspices of the Malta Triathlon Federation.
With Covid-19 cancelling most of international races and putting in doubt the triathlon season, triathletes welcomed the opportunity to race on local turf. Participation was strong. The energy and enthusiasm to race could be felt as triathletes arrived in the transition area.
It was a mass start for participants with a 750m metre swim in calm and clear seas. First to get out of the water was Bernard Sant, followed ten seconds later by National Champion Shaun Galea. Third out of the water was Hannah Cutajar.
As the triathletes took to the road for the 20km cycle, places started to change. Josef Bonavia,who registered the fastest bike split for the day, closed the gap that separated him between Galea and Sant after the swim. His efforts on the bike enabled him to enter the chase for a place on the males podium. As athletes transitioned from the bike to the five kilometre bike segment, positions didn’t change. In the end, Galea crossed the finish line first followed by Sant and Bonavia.
In the females’ category Hannah Cutajar was first out of the water. Hot on her heels was Danica Bonello Spiteri who exited a few seconds behind her. Bonello Spiteri made up for the gap in the swim overtaking Cutajar in the bike segment and kept on the lead throughout the bike and run segments to finish in first place and making a return to the Series podium following the birth of her child last year. Cutajar, meanwhile registered the fastest run split to finish in second place. Trailing behind them was current National Champion Lara Buttigieg who kept a consistent third place throughout the race.
“The vibe this morning had to be experienced to be understood. Today’s participation was one of the largest the club has had in a while and shows how much Maltese triathletes had been longing to race” enthused Euchar Camilleri, Secretary General, Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports club.
Taking part in the main race were a number of athletes who started their triathlon career with the Malta Youth Triathlon Academy. The Academy works closely with the Club which assists in the organisation of youth races throughout the season.
The next race of the Go&Fun BSJ Sprint Triathlon Series takes place on Sunday 26th July at the Salina Coast Road.
Go&Fun BSJ Sprint Triathlon Series – Race 1 Results
|1st||Shaun Galea (1:02:54)||Danica Bonello Spiteri (1:06:38)|
|2nd||Bernard Sant (1:03:25)||Hannah Cutajar (1:07:48)|
|3rd||Josef Bonavia (1:03:36)||Lara Buttigieg (1:11:05)|