For the first time, the European Triathlon Union opted for two different championships at two different venues in successive weekends. The Standard (Olympic) distance Triathlon Championships were held in Kitzbuhel, Austria, while the Sprint distance Championships was held the following weekend in Dusseldorf, Germany.
For the Maltese colours, it was the current Malta Champion Hannah Pace who managed the best results as she claimed a Bronze medal in each of the championships in her age-category. In Kitzbuhel, Pace challenged for the win until the very end of the race, where only a sprint finish separated the top three females in the category. This left Pace disappointed just after the race, however the Bronze medal and her fighting spirit took over and she went over to Germany the following week to claim another prestigious third place among some of the finest female triathletes on the continent.
These latest 2 medals brings Pace’s personal tally of European Triathlon Championships to an impressive 6 medals in 4 years. Her first outing at the European stage was in Alanya, Turkey in 2013, where she won Gold in the Standard. Two years later she won the Bronze in the Sprint Championship in Geneva, Switzerland while last year it was a double Silver medal for her in both the Standard and the Sprint in Lisbon, Portugal.
Just after the races, Pace reported that ‘It is always a great feeling to take part in these European Championships as the atmosphere is amazing! All along the routes you receive support form the spectators and you are racing side by side with athletes from all over the continent. The leading-up to this season had some setbacks, but I am very happy that I managed to be on the podium in both championships again and making my country proud’.
Cyprian Dalli, President of the Malta Triathlon Federation expressed his congratulations to Hannah Pace and the rest of the Maltese Team in the championships. He thanked the Maltese Olympic Committee for the funding towards the Federation which made these participations possible and also the European Triathlon Union for holding such electrifying continental Championships.
The rest of the team had some very positive results as well. National Champion Keith Galea ended his race in the Standard Distance in a very creditable 6th place while Michelle Vella Wood finished in a prestigious 7th place in her category. Also competing in the Standard Distance were Maltese Triathletes Suzanne Farrugia and Maria Vella-Galea.
The next international appointment for the Malta Triathlon Federation will be this weekend where Hannah Pace, Keith Galea and David Agius-Lia will be competing in the Mediterranean Triathlon Championships which will be held in the Catalan sea-side resort of Altafulla.