The Malta Triathlon Federation, in its continuous quest to offer the best of possibilities and opportunities to the athletes of the Malta Youth Triathlon Academy - MYTA, has established an agreement with the European Triathlon Union to have its promising athletes attending international youth training camps to improve their level of play. In the past 4 years, there were already 10 different young triathletes who participated in these training camps.
This year is no different as the young 'enfante prodige' of Maltese youth traithlon, Nikol Micallef was joined by MYTA coach Barry Farrugia in an international youth triathlon training camp in Alicante, Spain. This was not the first time for Micallef to attend such a camp as he has already been selected for a similar stage in Tiszaújváros, Hungary last summer. Micallef has been excelling not only in multisport races, but also in the single sport competitions, especially in cycling. During his sessions with the MYTA, Micallef is trained under the attentive eye of Barry Farrugia who is a Level 2 licenced triathlon coach and who is part of the coaching team at the Academy.
Micallef and Farrugia joined a team of around 30 other youth athletes and coaches from all over Europe in the training camp which was held in Alicante, Spain.
Micallef states that 'I was very excited when I learned that I will be attending this camp, and more so that I would be accompanied by my MYTA coach, Barry. My family made sure everything was prepared to perfection for this opportunity. When we arrived in Alicante I was astonished not only with the number of athletes participating but more so with the high-quality of my counterparts. We were training practically three times a day, like professional athletes. We would start the day with a swimming session followed by a run. Then we usually went cycling in the late afternoon. The highlight of the camp was cycling inside a velodrome! It was a dream come true for me!'
On his side, Coach Farrugia remarked that 'it was a great experience having the possibility to coach a splendid group of athletes and sharing the knowledge of triathlon-training with the other coaches. I am truly grateful for the opportunity that the Federation and MYTA gave Nikol and myself, and I looking forward to share all I've learnt to the MYTA athletes in our training sessions'.
The Malta Youth Triathlon Academy - MYTA currently trains 35 athletes of various ages between 7 and 15. Training is done primarily at the Kirkop Sports Complex and the National Pool Complex and athletes have three sessions a week. The MYTA project is supported heavily by SportMalta and is part of the latter's sports-programmes offered in its premises.
MYTA will be once again recruiting new young athletes from 7 years upwards for the summer 2017 programme. More information can be obtained via email@example.com and 79037933, or by visiting the official MYTA facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/MYTAtriMLT
The 29th Edition of the Malta National Duathlon Championship, sponsored by Eurosport Malta, saw the fifth triumph of Keith Galea (the fourth consecutive one) and the first ever Duathlon title for Margaret Spiteri in a very exciting and strongly-fought race.
The Malta Triathlon Federation set up the stage once again at Mtarfa as in 2015, with a tough but scenic route that saw athletes running the first 8 Kms through Mtarfa, Rabat and Mdina, followed by 27 Kms of cycle and a final short and gruelling run of 4 Kms.
In the male race, the defending champion, Keith Galea of B'Kara St. Joseph Sports Club, was determined to keep his title by setting the rhythm which immediately set him afield from competition apart from a group of athletes who was hot on his heels through all Run 1, formed by the Pembroke Athleta trio Shaun Galea, David Agius Lia and Brian Magri together with Spaniard Andres Bernal. The five of them entered Transition One together, with more than a minute over the chasing group. During the cycling segment, Keith Galea pushed hard to open a gap and managed to enter Transition Two with an18 second lead which would see him retaining his title for yet another year in a finish time of 1 hour, 26 minutes and 44 seconds. Under 20 Shaun Galea was second after registering the fastest Run 2 of the day, with Bernal grabbing the last spot on the podium.
In the female race, the battle was on mmainly between Hannah Pace of Pembroke Athleta and Margaret Seguna of Mellieħa A.C. who were both vying for their first every national Duathlon title. Seguna's strengths rested on the two runs while Pace registered the fastest bike segment, but finally it was Seguna who came out victorious in a time of 1 hours 36 minutes and 45 seconds, with Pace grabbing second place and a hard-fighting Michelle Vella Wood in third place.
In the Age Categories, Shaun Galea topped the Under 20 while Neil Markham was first in the Under 23. The Masters Categories saw David Agius Lia, David Cushing, David Galea, Brian Magri and Victor Calvagna topping the Over 35, 40, 45, 45, 50 and 55 categories, while Suzanne Farrugia was first female Over 55.
Through its Malta Youth Triathlon Academy (MYTA), the Malta Triathlon Federation organised a series of 4 races for kids and youths immediately after. These were very well attended with 40 athletes between 6 and 15 years taking part. In Race 1, MYTA athletes Julienne Woods and Max Spiteri Fiteni took the top spots. Isaac Bonnici of Agones SFC and Aurora Gafa' of MYTA won Race 2, while Gabriel Bonnici of Agones SFC and Emilia Galdes of Mosta Cycling Club took the titles in Race 3. In Race 4, for youth aged 14 and 15, it was a double success for MYTA as Nikol Micallef and Maria Schembri finished first.
The races and the championship was sponsored by Eurosport Malta, with whom the MTF has reach an agreementfor partnership and is now recognised as the official apparel provider of the Federation and its teams.
Shortly after the race, Cyprian Dalli, President of Triathlon Malta expressed his satisfaction by stating that 'it was the perfect start for the mutlisport season, with many athletes of all ages, parents, coaches, administrators, volunteers and helpers coming together for the love of sports! This augurs well for our endevours for the rest of the season and for the years to come'.
The Malta Triathlon Federation expressed its gratitude to Eurosport Malta, the Parliamentary Secretariat for Research, Innovation, Youth & Sport, the Local Councils of Mtarfa, Mdina and Rabat, the Malta Police Force, Transport Malta, the Local Enforcement System Agency, the Malta Red Cross, Magri Cycles, San Michel Table Water, Gatorade Sports Drink, Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports club, the ARRTS Electronic Timing System, and all the volunteers, helpers and made this event possible.
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