Euro Triathlon Championships Lisbon 2016 Round-Up: Pace grabs second Silver while Bonello Spiteri is crowned European Champion
It was girl-power time for the Malta Triathlon Federation at the European Triathlon Championships which were held across this weekend in the Portuguese Capital of Lisbon, as Hannah Pace finished second in her age category in both the Sprint and the Standard Distance Triathlons, while Danica Bonello Spiteri topped the classification of her category in the Standard Distance.
Both races were centred around the impressive Parque das Nações at the Eastern end of Lisbon, an area which was heavily transformed into an ultra-modern urban area for the World Expo of 1998. The Sprint Race was held on Friday on the distances of 750 metres swim, 20 kms cycle and 5kms run, while the Standard (Olympic) distance championships were held on Sunday on double the distances.
The other female members of the team also had some remarkable showings as Bonello Spiteri was fourth in the Sprint Distance with Michelle Vella Wood closely behind for the fifth position in the Sprint and eighth in the Standard while Nina Zammit grabbed ninth place in the Sprint and Lara Buttigieg was tenth at their continental debut.
The team also consisted of young male triathletes, Shaun Galea and Neil Markham, both on their first outing at the European Triathlon Championships. Galea was fourteenth in Sprint on Friday and 69th from a field of almost 500 athletes, while Markham was nineteenth in the Sprint and fifteenth in the Standard race. Both registered improved personal racing time during these championships.
Commenting soon after the end of the races, Triathlon Malta' s President Cyprian Dalli was visibly satisfied and elated by the team's performance in Lisbon. 'We have once again managed to put the small island of Malta on the map of Continental Triathlon with some great results and impressive podium finishes', said Dalli while reporting back directly from the race venue. 'The team this year was markedly young, with an average age of 24 years, and managing such important targets with these athletes underlines the growth and development of Triathlon in Malta in the past years and consolidates the vision and targets for the years ahead. This great group of athletes did incredibly well against all odds and I am extremely proud of every single one of them!' concluded the MTF President.
During the past days, Dalli also attended the European Triathlon Union's Annual General Assembly which was held in conjunction with the Championships. Other meetings included a face-to-face meeting with the ETU's Development Board to analyse, discuss and lay plans for an increased progression and expansion of multisport on the island.
The participation of the Triathlon Malta team in these championships was made possible through the funding of the Maltese Olympic Committee and the support of the European Triathlon Union.
Day 2 of the expedition to Lisbon 2016 for our TriMLT team today, with a packed day on the race field, where Danica, Shaun, Neil Nina, Michelle and Hannah took part in the Sprint Distance Age Group European Triathlon Championship 2016.
The day started early as our athletes were at the race venue by 9am. The usual pre-race rituals and nerves but the group seemed positive and ready to go.
The proceedings were kicked off with Shaun and Neil who at 11am dived in the waters. Soon after, they were followed with the female wave of which Nina and Hannah formed part. The team was all in the water when Danica and Michelle started their efforts.
MTF President Cyprian Dalli and Secretary General had loads of running around to ensure they were placed at vantage points to see the swim, T1, cycle, T2, run and finish of all 6 Maltese triathletes, while keeping track of the order of classification of each, updating the MTF's social networks, and off course shout their support each time a member of the team passed.
At the end of race, it was a very satisfied collective effort with Danica and Michelle grabbing 4th and 5th place while Nina, Shaun and Neil placed 9th, 14th and 19th in their respective categories - very promising especially when one considers it was their first go at international racing and at such a prominent stage!
The best result of the day was achieved by Hannah Pace who went a step higher from last year by claiming the Silver medal with her second place in the Age Category. Hannah had a very sharp race and managed to put herself in front of a large field of athletes in the bike and run segment. Hannah received her medal during a Medal-Presentation ceremony which took place in the Athletes' Lounge in the evening,
After the race, all the contingent went straight to have lunch together in a restaurant nearby and discuss the races, the timings, and thoughts were already running towards Sunday when most of the team will be engaged once again the Standard (Olympic) Continental Championships again.
That's all for this second day in Lisbon! Tomorrow, a bit of resting time and the Elite European Championships up for grabs on the street of Lisbon.
All athletes and team members would like to express gratitude towards all their families and friends, the supporters of Triathlon Malta and the Maltese Olympic Committee who made all this possible.
Months of preparations are over! Tomorrow is showtime for Triathlon Malta at the European Triathlon Union's European Championships in Lisbon 2016.
Tomorrow, 6 of our athletes in the contingent will be racing the Sprint Distance Age Group European Championships, in a race that will see Shaun Galea, Neil Markham, Hannah Pace, Michelle Vella Wood, Danica Bonello Spiteri and Nina Zammit swim 750 m, cycle 20Km and run 5Km against some of Europe's toughest challenges in their Age Group Category.
Meanwhile today, our athletes were busy with the Race Registration, bike check-in, and bike raking inside the transition area. The athletes had time to try parts of the swim and bike course and get to terms with the real feel of tomorrow' race.
During this, President of the Malta Triathlon Federation, Cyprian Dalli was attending the Annual General Assembly of the European Triathlon Union where important reviews on the past year and decisions that will effect the scenario of continental triathlon parts of the packed agenda. Following the Assembly, he also had a meeting with the ETU's Development Committee to discuss the situation of triathlon in Malta, its development as well as other future projects which the International Triathlon Union and the European Triathlon Union are willing to support.
To conclude this very busy day, the athletes forming part of the TriMLT team met at the Parque das Nações near the race venue to take part in the Parade of the Nations and the Opening Ceremony of the European Championships Lisbon 2016.
The appointment is now set for tomorrow late morning where the athletes will be competing, starting at 11:00am Lisbon Time (12 noon Malta Time).
Let's Go #TriMLT!
Garmin Ocean-Lava 113K Triathlon - National Long Distance Triathlon Championship 2016 : Race Presentation
After calling Birzebbugia its home for nearly a decade, the tenth edition of the Garmin Ocean Lava Malta 113km triathlon moves to a new base this year.
Scheduled to be held on Sunday 15th May, the Bahar ic-Caghaq Coast Road has been chosen as venue for this year’s race and combines all the necessary ingredients for a challenging route that includes flat stretches, undulating hills and steep turns which require a strong focus by those taking part.
Thanks to the support of the Malta Tourism Authority the race will welcome athletes from Slovenia, The Netherlands, Cyprus, United Kingdom and Italy. A strong Maltese participation will see a good mix of familiar and new faces join the foray.
“It is very encouraging to see the growth of this race. This year has been full of milestones - we have joined the international brand Ocean Lava, we will introduce electronic timing, we are celebrating ten years and once again it has been designated as a National Championship race by the Malta Triathlon Federation” commented Charlie Demanuele, Race Founder and Director. “We are also pleased to see a number of athletes moving up from relay participation last year, to full distance this year. This reiterates our belief that this race is a great opportunity to test one’s performance in endurance racing, building up gradually as they progress in the sport”.
The Race will kick off on Sunday 15th May at 6:30am with a 1.9k swim in Palm Beach, Bahar ic-Caghaq, followed by a 90km cycle – consisting of 7 loops of approximately 13km each along the Coast Road, heading up to Pembroke and going all the way to Salina. A 21km run will complete the distance wherein athletes will run three loops of 7km each from the transition area in Palm Beach towards Salina.
Participation in the race is either on an individual basis, where athletes undertake the full distance of 113kms or through relay participation which sees three athletes teaming up to undertake one of the three disciplines.
“The Malta Triathlon Federation is pleased to have once again designated this race as the National Long Distance Championships once again. Previous years’ success prove that such races aid the growth and development of triathlon, especially in the endurance category”, said Cyprian Dalli, President of the Malta Triathlon Federation.
This year the Race will also see the introduction of electronic timing. The Agones ARRTS Timing System will use a transponder and timing points at transition and finish are connected wirelessly and will ensure accurate timing for each athlete. A fully refundable €20 deposit is required to be paid when collecting timing chip. This will be given back immediately after the race when the timing chip is given back to Time Keeping Officials.
A Post Race Massage station will be set up, compliments of Perskindol (NM Arrigo Ltd), and will be on a first come first served basis.
We have increased our prize pool, with some more exciting gifts being given to winners. We have also revised our Age Groups from previous years to give more athletes opportunities to be rewarded for their efforts.
We remind you that all athletes will be given the opportunity to take part in a raffle where the following prizes can be won:-
1st Prize - Registration to any European Middle Distance Triathlon of your choice (subject the chosen Race Terms & Conditions) together with flight to destination, kindly donated by Go & Fun (Malta)
2nd Prize – Garmin Fenix 3 GPS watch, kindly donated by Garmin Malta
3rd Prize – Blue Seventy Wetsuit, kindly donated by The Cyclist (San Gwann)
Prize giving for the Top Three Male and Female athletes will take place at 13:00hrs. The rest of the Age Groupers and raffle draw will take place later on when the last athlete comes in. We remind you that winners of the raffle prizes are to be present in order for them to claim their prize.
We always harp on this, and we do appreciate that it is a long day for all, but do please make an effort to stay on to cheer the athletes. A show of support can go a long way for athletes who might have had a longer day than others! So do stay on!
Registrations will be accepted until Friday 13th May during Race Briefing, however the team would appreciate if Registrations are not left to the last minute as it makes things easier especially in terms of goody bags, logistics etc.
Race Briefing will take place on Friday 13th May at 7pm at Saracino’s Café in Attard. Athletes will be able to collect their t-shirts, goody bag and Timing Chip. Any athlete unable to attend are requested to send someone in their stead and advise the organising team immediately.
The Garmin Ocean Lava Malta 113k triathlon is once again being supported by Garmin, represented in Malta by Medcomms Ltd., Go & Fun, Sancture Sportifs, Saracino Catering, The Cyclist, Urban Jungle, Malta Tourism Authority, emvigee pr & marketing, Mochika, Perskindol, Scott. The Race is sanctioned by the Malta Triathlon Federation, timekeeping assistance and logistical assistance is being provided by Agones SFC and Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club.
Detailed information about the race can be found on www.oceanlavamalta.com or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
The expansion of Triathlon in Malta continues to increase steadily and this is in part also thanks of the attraction of Middle and Long Distance races have on the local triathletes. The so-called 'Ironman' races continue to grow in popularity and Malta might have of the largest ratio of long-distance triathletes per practicing athletes in Europe.
As the triathlon season starts to fire up steadily, local triathletes participate in various middle and long distance triathlon races all over Europe while some also venture even further.
On 1 May, a contingent of 9 members of the Malta Triathlon Federation, namely Kevin Zammit, Jean-Marc Camilleri, Niki Bilocca, Daniel Agius, Matthew Mirabelli, Stefan Borg, Josef Zarb, Donald Vella and Stephen Banavage took part in the Aix-de-Provence Ironman 70.3 race.
An Ironman 70.3 Triathlon consists of a swim of 1.9KMs, a cycling part of 90KMs and a half-marathon run of 21KM. Such gruelling race requires a tough physical and mental preparation and many hours of training in the three disciplines forming the sport of triathlon.
The race for the Maltese triathletes proved to be more demanding than anticipated since a cold spell which covered the Provence region resulted in water temperatures in the Lac Peyrolles to drop to 15 degrees C. For this reason, the Race Organisers decided to cancel the swimming section of the race for safety reasons. Notwithstanding, the race still proved to be hugely demanding since the athletes had to face strong winds and gust reaching 52km/hr in certain exposed areas. Once the cycling was completed, the final part of the race consists in a 3 laps around a 7KM circuit through the city of Aix, which proved to be very exciting for the athletes since crowds of support gathered to push the athletes in their last push towards the finish line.
All 9 members of the Triathlon Malta team completed the course and received the Finisher's Medal. The first of the Maltese triathletes to cross the Finish line was Matthew Mirabelli in a time of 4 hours and 27 minutes. Mirabelli also had the best bike split among tha Maltese triathletes covering the 90KM distance in 2 hours 50 minutes. Kevin Zammit put his successful running background to fruition by topping the Maltese contingent's run split when he covered the half-marathon distance in just under an hour and a half.
Meanwhile, the local triathletes will be treated to a local long-distance triathlon on Sunday 15 May in the Garmin Ocean Lava Malta 113K Triathlon which will be held at Baħar ic-Cagħaq and which has been sanctioned by the Malta Triathlon Federation as the National Long-Distance Triathlon Championship 2016.
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