Under scorching heat and the beautiful surroundings of the valley between Mdina and Mtarfa, the Malta Triathlon Federation held its annual National Duathlon Championship, raced on the distances of 8KM for Run 1, 27KM cycle and 4KM Final Run. The race was sponsored and supported by Eurosport Malta.
Margaret Seguna of Mellieha A.C. managed to defend last year’s title while rookie Jesrit Angel Camilleri of Birkirkara St. Joseph claimed his first ever National Title after only some months into the multisport scene.
In the men’s race Camilleri’s strong running paved to way to his final victory when he finished Run 1 more that a minute ahead of competitors. However, it was Michael Bongailas of TriGozo who had the best cycling segment of the lot and entered Transition 2 in front. But Camilleri’s once again put his running to a good cause and it was him who claimed the title at the end by finishing the race is 1 hour, 27 minutes and 59 seconds. Bongailas was second overall while veteran David Galea took third place after a steady race.
In the female race, last year’s Duathlon Champion Margaret Seguna dominated the race by having the best splits in both Run 1 and the cycling segment. In the first transition, Seguna was already 2 minutes ahead of Lara Buttigieg of Agones SFC in second place. However, Buttigieg fought till the very last while also claimed the fastest Run 2, but it was not enough to take the title from Seguna, who won in a time of 1 hour 39 minutes and 28 seconds. Buttigieg took second place while Karen Amato of Mosta Tri Team joined them on the podium in third place.
Jesrit Camilleri was clearly overjoyed at the finish, just after he was crowned national champion for the first time in his very short multisport career. ‘It is still hard for me to find the words to describe what I am feeling. Possibly the closest way would be a combination of surprise and personal satisfaction. With only six months experience in multisport it was only natural for me not to put any high expectations on my first race’ said an emotional Camilleri. ‘Besides the fact that I was competing against more seasoned athletes a recent leg injury has hampered my training particularly when it comes to speed work. Luckily however everything went well and I could use my strong background in road running to bridge the gap that currently exists between myself and stronger cyclists. Despite the victory I still keep my feet firmly planted on the ground since I am aware that I have a lot of room for improvement. However, I am now more and more convinced that the move to multisport was one for the best for me and I certainly look forward to defend the championship in next year’s event’ he concluded.
On the other hand, Seguna seemed jubilant as she established herself as the dominating female in the local duathlon scene for the second year running. ‘The overall experience was great. I was mainly focusing on keeping last year's title. I knew I had to have a solid first run which was not easy considering the challenging route. I managed to keep up with some strong runners and I guess that was it’ stated Seguna. She also thanked the SportMalta Flexi Training Scheme, Triathlon Malta for the organisation and Team Barry for her support.
The Age-Group awards were claimed by Malcolm Vassallo in the Under 20, Kersten Theuma and Anjelika Ruggier in the Over 20, Andrew Carter in the Over 25, Stephen Muscat and Lindsey Zammit in the Over 30, Nigel Camilleri in the Over 35, Alan Borg and Isabelle Caruana in the Over 40, Stefan Baluci in the Over 45 and Joseph Cremona and Glorianne Borg in the Over 50.
The Malta Triathlon Federation thanks its sponsors, Eurosport Malta, it partners Garmin Malta, 24/7 Fitness Clubs, Magri Cycles, the Farsons Group, the Mtarfa Local Council, the Malta Police Force, especially the Rabat Police and the Traffic Section, the Malta Red Cross, and all the volunteers who helped and supported this championship.
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