After an absence of many years, the Malta Triathlon Federation organised a Triathlon in the unusual months of winter in a Season Opener which saw the athletes racing on the Standard Distance, that is a 1.5KM swim, followed with a 40KM cycle and finished with a 10KM run on the Coast Road circuit. The race saw the success of the current National Champion, Graham Borg of Mosta Tri Team, and of Lara Buttigieg of Agones SFC.
Borg went ahead from start to finish and administered his race to register an emphatic win. He registered the best swim and the best cycle of the lot. Trailing Borg was Michael Bongailas, President and founder of TriGozo who has just been affiliated with the Federation some days before. Bongailas made good use of his fine transition skills as he registered the best transitions in both T1 and T2. In the running segment, Borg administered comfortably the advantage gained, while Kevin Muscat of Birkirkara St. Joseph registered the best running split. In the end it was Borg who took the honour with a total time of 2 hours, 7 minutes and 10 seconds, with Bongailas in second and Josef Bonavia of Mosta Tri Team in close third place.
The battle for the female race was much more hardly-fought as Lara Buttigieg registered the best swimming split, but Isabelle Caruana of Mosta Tri Team had the best time on the bike, closing in the gap. Anjelika Ruggier had the best run from the female participants. Buttigieg kept her slight advantage to win it in a total time of 2 hours 34 minutes and 56 seconds, just 19 seconds ahead of Caruana in second place. Ruggier claimed the last place on the female podium.
Simultaneously with the main race, the Federation also organised a Sprint Triathlon, raced on half the distance. In the male category, it was the young star Nikol Micallef of Mosta Tri Team who registered the best swim and the best run, while veteran Joseph Cremona of Mellieha AC had the best time on the bike. At the end Micallef edged Cremona’s challenge to win the race. In the female Sprint race, it was rookie Lindsey Zammit of Agones SFC who cruised through all the segments of the race to claim the win.
Apart from the individual races, there was another competition for relay teams on both distances. In the Standard Distance, it was the team composed of Amand P. Verranenman, Gerard Said and Michael Attard who won the best place. In the Sprint Relay, the best swim was registered by Niki Lanzon, the best cycle was claimed by Nicholas Micallef while the best run was clocked by Michael Hughes. In the end, it was the team composed of Margaret Seguna, Nicholas Micallef and Glen Zammit who won the relay.
The Malta Triathlon Federation thanked wholeheartedly all those who supported the race, namely The Malta Police Force and the Traffic Section, Transport Malta, the Naxxar Local Council, the ARRTS Electronic Timing System and Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club. The Federation also expressed its gratitude to its sponsors, San Michel & Gatorade, Garmin Malta, Eurosport Malta, Go & Fun, and all the volunteers who marshalled the course during the race.
photos in this gallery by Gabriel Bongailas of Bongi's Photography and Marisa Xuereb.
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