Keith Galea and Danica Bonello Spiteri crowned Triathlon National Champions
The recently held Malta 'KEE KLAMP' Triathlon National Championships saw Keith Galea being crowned for a second time in his racing career and Danica Bonello Spiteri claiming her eleventh crown in a hotly contested race that saw their dominance from the start of the Olympic Distance race (1.5km swim, 40km cycle, 10k run).
In the men's race Keith Galea (Birkirkara St. Joseph) emerged from the water within 22 minutes 33 seconds of the start followed by fellow team Rudolph Agius (Birkirkara St. Joseph) who finished the swim segment in 25 minutes 35 seconds followed by Fabio Spiteri (Mellieha AC) who clocked 25 minutes 48 seconds. The gap was maintained in the run, with Galea maintaining his supremacy followed by Agius and Spiteri who narrowed the gap. Galea crossed the finish line, after a strong 10k run, in 2 hours 51 seconds. Spiteri overtook Agius in the run but a 2 minute penalty for an infringement in drafting regulations saw Spiteri's time one second faster than Agius who crossed the finish line in 2 hours 9 minutes and 26 seconds.
In the female's race clocking 23 minutes 48 seconds, Danica Bonello Spiteri (St. Patrick's AC) exited the water comfortably ahead of Mellieha AC athlete Margaret Seguna who exited the water in 24 minutes 49 seconds, followed by Birkirkara St. Joseph athlete Michelle Vella Wood who exited the water after 25 minutes 37 seconds. With Bonello Spiteri showing dominance in the swim, Vella Wood reacted strongly in the bike segment narrowing the gap between the National Champion and herself to 10 seconds. Bonello Spiteri showed her strength in the run crossing the finish line after 2 hours 17 minutes 7 seconds and claiming her eleventh championship of her career. Vella Wood crossed the finish line one minute later settling for second place. Calleja crossed the finish line in 2 hours 22 minutes 50 seconds taking her place on the podium in third place.
A total of 86 athletes, 18 of which travelled to Malta, from the United Kingdom, Denmark and Italy, specifically for the race took part in the two Races (Olympic & Sprint) which the Malta Triathlon Association organized with the assistance of Joseph F. Spiteri & Co (1927) Ltd and B' Kara St. Joseph Sports Club.
The Sprint race was won by Sylvester Cilia in 1 hour 7 minute 24 seconds, while the Women's Category was won by Michelle Scott in 1 hour 15 minutes 55 seconds.
"We are proud of our athletes, who show commitment and dedication, training and improving their performance both locally and abroad." said Cyp Dalli, President of the Malta Triathlon Association. "The Association is constantly working hard to ensure the development of this sport and the athletes which make up Malta Triathlon, which is seeing regular increases in participation. We are thankful for the support that sponsors like Joseph F. Spiteri & Co (1927) Ltd show us as well as the invaluable help Birkirkara St. Joseph SC offer in the organisation of such races"
Mr. Justice Lino Farrugia Sacco, President of the Maltese Olympic Committee, congratulated all the participants and presented the trophies to the winners in the various categories.