In its constant aim to upgrade its standards and levels of competition to reflect the trends of the continental and global directions of multisport, the Malta Triathlon Federation has recently held its first ever National Aquathlon Championships in Malta.
Aquathlon is one of the three pillars of multisport in which the athletes compete in the disciplines of running and swimming and finish off their efforts in a final run.
The Malta Triathlon Federation opted to dispute the Championships on the Standard Distance of 2.5km run, a swim of 1000 metres and a final 2.5km run. The championships were held in M'Xlokk and saw the partecipation of a healthy number of athletes from the triathlon background.
Having to forsake the use of the cycling leg, the athletes had to carefully pace their race in this short yet very challenging route.
In the male category, all the big guns of the triathlon scene were side by side on the starting line with Fabio Spiteri, David Agius-Lia and Graham Borg ready to give national triathlon champion Keith Galea a good run for his money. Agius-Lia was however the only to keep up with Galea in the first run and they entered the water side by side, however, a strong performance by Galea in the swim resulting in the fastest performance in the water on the day and the fastest run from them all saw Galea claiming the championship in a formidable 34 minutes. Thus, Galea is currently poised as the National Champion of Duathlon, Triathlon and Aquathlon on the island.
In the female field the conspicuous absence of the Triathlon Champion, Michelle Vella-Wood left the field of play open for the exploits of Margaret Seguna to chase down Duathlon champion Danica Bonello Spiteri who was looking to continue her formidable streak of the season. Seguna managed to keep at the heels of Bonello-Spiteri in the first run and even after the swim which left the duo fighting till the last metre to the finish line, with Bonello Spiteri edging it over Seguna for just a couple of inches for a thrilling finale, while Johanna Galea claimed the third spot on the podium on her come-back after some months of absence from the multisport scene.
The Age Categories prizes were hardly fought but in the end were claimed by Claudia Zammit and Jude Zammit in the Over 50 and Fabio Spiteri in the Over 40. Youngsters Neil Markham and Nina Zammit claimed the Under 20 category, in a very tangible sign of the progress they are registering after the European Triathlon Union's training camps this summer. Mattea Grech and Loredana Vella claimed the Relay Team prize.
The Federation, in order to nurture the future of multisport on the island also organised a kids & youth race immediately after the adults championship. These races were coordinated by the Malta Youth Triathlon Academy's coaches and saw the participation of 38 young athletes aged between 5 and 15 among the excitement and support of parents, friends and athletes alike.
The next appointment of the Malta Triathlon Federation is now scheduled for the Grand Finale of the multisport season : The National Triathlon Championships which will be held on Sunday 12 October at Marfa and Mellieha. More information on the event can be obtained by contacting the Federation on 79037933 or email@example.com
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