The Malta Triathlon Federation shall be holding its annual National Duathlon Championships on 1 May 2014, in Mtarfa. Duathlon is a multisport race where an athlete has to make a run which is followed by a cycle and finished with another run.
A very positive number of participants has registered for this race which has seen a steady increase every year in the last years. The National Championships shall be held a Run 1 of 7.5KM, a Cycle of 27KM and a RUN 2 of 4KM.
Practically all the National Team Members will be fighting for the top post of the Podium. In the Male Category, Keith Galea and Fabio Spiteri who have won the last two editions will be challenging each Graham Borg will be a huge potential to be reckoned with while Steve Chetcuti will be mounting enough pressure for the top posts. In the Female ranks, Danica Bonello Spiteri and Michelle Vella Wood (the last two winners) will surely have Hannah Pace and Margaret Seguna breathing on their necks all throughout the race.
The race will be held for the first time in Mtarfa. 'We have been very lucky to partner up with the Mtarfa Local Council who immediately supported our request and gave us their full support' said Cyprian Dalli, President of the Malta Triathlon Federation (MTF). 'We are thrilled to see our athletes racing at this stage of the season, and we are lucky enough to have 4 athletes who will be on their way to the First Edition of the European Games in a handful of months. We are very happy with the number of competitors for this Championships which is a result of the ever-growing popularity of multi-sport in Malta and that athletes are always looking forward to take part in the races organised by the MTF. For this race we have partnered up with Perskindol Malta and NM Arrigo who have supported our Federation for the past couple of years now' said Dalli.
Kids and Youth races will be held immediately afterwards, reflecting the MTF's vision of nurturing young athletes and encourage them to compete in a safe, friendly and a fair-play environments.
The Malta Triathlon would like to thank the local authorities who cooperated in the build-up of this race, especially the Mtarfa Local Council, Transport Malta, the Traffic Section and the Rabat District of the Malta Police Force, The Rabat (Malta) Local Council, NM Arrigo Ltd., Farsons Group of Company, Ecco Shoes Malta, Rimus Trading, J. Calleja Trading, Goodies, Go & Fun Malta, Antica Pasticceria Siciliana, Magri Cycles, Joseph F. Spiteri & Co. (1927) Ltd., the sponsors and partners and the many volunteers who assist in the race logistics.
The general public is kindly invited to attend and cheer the athletes during the race, while also being notified that Mtarfa By-Pass will be closed for traffic during the race, that is Thursday 1 May between 8am and 11am. While apologising for any inconvenience, the Malta Triathlon Federation expresses its gratitude for all cooperation.
In its bid to sustain and nurture the triathletes of the younger generations, the Malta Triathlon Federation has, in the past couple of years, embarked on a partnership programme with the European Triathlon Union (ETU) to have young athletes among its ranks train in a professional manner under some of the best Triathlon Coaches in the continent. In the past two seasons, 4 young triathletes from Malta have attended such courses in Croatia, Slovenia and Lithuania, while 3 Maltese coaches who train children and athletes in the Malta Youth Triathlon Academy – MYTA have participated in coaching courses and obtained Level 1 Triathlon Coaching certification.
The momentum was kept in the past weeks when 3 other young athletes attended a training camp in Alicante, Spain, once again organised by the European Triathlon Union. Matthaeus Sciberras, Mattea Grech and Jake Vella joined a group of other young triathletes from all over the continent and had an intense camp of 6 days where they attended lectures and training sessions under professional mentoring and coaching. The three budding athletes were accompanied by MYTA Coach, Matthew Azzopardi who joined a good number of triathlon coaches during the camp.
During the week they spent in Spain, the athletes were training swimming, cycling and running and also had sessions of mountain-biking, velodrome-cycling and open-water swimming. They were treated to a theoretical session each morning followed by three training session a day.
‘It was an unforgettable experience full of fun and learning opportunities. Coaches were amazing and I really learnt a lot from this camp, while making new friends from all over Europe. It made me eager to train more and better on my return home’ said Mattea Grech. Mattheus was on the same wave-lenght when he admitted that ‘it was a lifetime experience which opened my eyes to what being a professional triathlete really means. I will never forget this experience and the knowledge I gained’. Jake Vella stated that he was particulary impressed by the facilities in Spain and that the highlight of the experience was cycling in a velodrome. The athletes were particulary thankful for coach Matt Azzopardi who supported them and made sure everything went plain-sailing.
Cyp Dalli, President of the Malta Triathlon Federation stated that ‘In order for Triathlon in Malta to grow and develop, we need to go out of our shores, learn from those with a wealth of experience and expose our athletes to the the most advanced training opportunuties. This partnership with the European Triathlon Union and its Development Board has been successful as we have seen 7 of our youngest triathletes and three coaches train and be at par with our continental counterparts. We are very thankful to the ETU for these opportunities which will definetly result in a huge investment in the futire of Triathlon in Malta’
The importance of youth-development in Triathlon continues by the flourishing of the Malta Youth Triathlon Academy – MYTA, which is coordinated by the Malta Triathlon Federation through its National Caoch, Dermot Galea. Session for children and youths between 6 and 16 are held every week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. More information can be obtained by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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