Despite its critical length and timing due to the deadlines set for GSSE, this season is surprisingly developing into one of the sort we haven’t witnessed for some time in Malta.
Every weekend, it seems that records set in the past were not good enough. In the meet organized on Friday for the hurdle events, Monalisa Camilleri (AS Libertas) has managed to break the National Record for the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 12:05.52. When considering the toughness of the event, the hurdles and the lengthy distance (which we sprinters seem to fear) added with the fact that Camilleri ran the race on her own, the performance is extremely encouraging for Maltese athletics. Respect!
Meanwhile, in Saturday’s meeting the challenging weather probably was providential for some events. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Three times under 11s for the 100m – fascinating! Andy Grech and Steve Camilleri (both of Pembroke Athleta) clocked a time of 10.89, followed by a whisker by seasoned Rachid Chouchal (of AS Libertas) with a time of 10.90 – all with a legal wind of 1.1m/s. Brilliant!
As for the ladies, Diane Borg (La Salle) came first in 12.58, followed by Charlene Attard (Pembroke Athleta) in 12.87 and Annalise Vassallo (Zurrieq Wolves) in 13.11. This time, the ladies had to face a -0.5m/s wind. These results, in combination with the positive momentum we’ve witnessed so far in the sprinting events seem to provide plenty of hope for the 4x100m relays for both men and women.
Despite missing out on the 100m race, young promise Luke Bezzina (Allcomers Aloysians) ran the fastest time this year for the 200m in 22.24 followed by Rachid Chouhal (22.48) and Gozitan promise Luke Attard (Athletix AC) 23.39. These times, although aided by a strong wind of 2.5m/s, are still very positive and exciting for the enthusiasts! The ladies’ race was won by Diane Borg (24.70), followed by her training partner Annalise Vassallo (26.38) and Nicole Pace of Starmax AC (28.82).
Brandon Abela (Allcomers Aloysians) and Andrea Cristiano (Pembroke Athleta) – both 15 year olds – finished the half lap in 23.99 and 24.02. For the girls, Janet Richard and Nicole Attard Gluvau (both of St. Patrick’s AC) placed first and second with times of 26.18 and 27.25 respectively. People out there, please take note of these future talents!
Neil Brimmer (of Zurrieq Wolves) won the 400m men, struggling the whole way uncontested with a time of 50.74. His local rival, Matthew Croker (Savio AC), ran the distance at a Regional Meet in Bari (Italy), with a time of 50.21. We are all looking forward to see next weekend’s 400m event, where we should be expecting the four musketeers (Brimmer and Croker, joined by Kevin Moore and Steve Camilleri) to challenge each other – hopefully pushing each other to a seasonal best. Meanwhile, Lara Scerri (Pembroke Athleta) and Francesca Borg (of Allcomers Aloysians) finished the lap in 59.79 and 59.99 respectively.
In a time trial for the Men’s 4x100m relay, the MAAA selection got closer to the MQS for the Small Nations Games, with a time of 42.22.
Meanwhile, in the field events, Ian Paul Grech (Pembroke Athleta) obtained a wind-assisted result of 13.94m in the triple jump! In the 1500m both Monalisa Camilleri and Mark Herrera (of Pembroke Athleta) got closer to their MQSs with times of 4.58:48 and 4.01:18 respectively.
There you go – quite a longish article today, a good sign that things are getting in better shape in Marsa.