Whilst the official Malta Triathlon season ended with the National Championships in October, athletes’ enthusiasm to keep on racing did not wane and an off-season Duathlon was recently held with the support of SmartCity Malta.
Maria Vella-Galea reports:
The race which consisted of a 5km run, an 18km cycle and a 2.5k run was held in the SmartCity Malta premises and environs. The cycle route proved to be a challenging route due to its technical nature and held in an area which isquite undulating. Whilst some familiar faces from the Triathlon scene were missing either due to injury or in their recovery period, turnout was high especially since this was an off season race.
With current Triathlon Champion Keith Galea and National Duathlon Champion Fabio Spiteri not competing, the men’s race was dominated from the start by the Galea brothers, David and Johann. David has recently returned to Triathlon and has kept the fine form he showed in the past. The Galeas were followed closely by former National Champion and National Coach Dermot Galea, fresh from his Ironman World Championship experience in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The pace was kept consistently throughout all segments of the race, with David and Johann Galea coming in joint first in 58minutes 19 seconds. Dermot Galea came in third place in 59 minutes 41 seconds.
The women’s race was dominated by young Hannah Pace who was the first female in all the three segments of the race. In the first 5k run, second in was Margaret Seguna who is returning to her fine form after a major setback, earlier on this year, put her racing targets on hold. Current National Champion Michelle Vella Wood, caught up on the bike and in the second run finishing in second place after Hannah Pace in 1 hour 5 minutes and 46 seconds. Margaret Seguna came in third place thirty six seconds after Vella Wood.
The first relay team to cross the Finish line was made up of Shayan Sheik who undertook the running segments and Matthew Spiteri who completed the cycle leg. The Duo finished the race in 1 hour 5 mins and 56 seconds.
As part of the Malta Youth Triathlon Academy programme races were held for young athletes undertaking the Academy program, however activity was also open to budding triathletes who do not attend the Academy. The programme kicked off with a fun-run for toddlers followed by the Kids 6 – 10 Category which was won by Pavel Dalli. Matthew Camilleri won the Youth 11-13 Category, whilst the Junior 14 -16 Category was well fought out and eventually won by Matthaeus Sciberras.
“2013 racing season is now well and truly over. We are very pleased with the feedback and input received from our athletes as well as partners. Of course there is always room for improvement and this is what the Federation always strives towards. We are also very pleased with the participation in the first ever Youth Academy, of which most participants took part this morning. It was also encouraging to see a number of youths from Gozo coming over to take part and enjoy the fun. ” said Cyprian Dalli , President of the Malta Triathlon Federation. “Of course this would not be possible without the assistance of organisations such as SmartCity Malta, who invest in our efforts and support us as they did today. Their help enables us to keep on providing quality races for our athletes. We are also deeply indebted to the Kunsill Malti Ghall-Isport and the European Triathlon Union for the support they have provided for the Malta Youth Triathlon Academy (MYTA) which is helping us build the future of Triathlon in Malta.
The event closed off with the presentation of trophies for the race winners, which were presented by Mr. Nicholas Schembri, Business Development Manager, SmartCity Malta as well as the winners in the various categories of the Triathlete of the Year Award which aims to reward athletes not only for their performance but also their commitment to take part in local races.
The winners of this year’s Triathlete of the Year Award were Fabio Spiteri and Michelle Vella Wood. This year the Malta Triathlon Federation decided to reward more athletes and thus awarded the first five athletes in each category (Male & Female) as well as winners for Over 35, Over 40, Over 45, Over 50 and Over 50 Age Groups.