Margaret Seguna & Shaun Galea were both declared 2019 National Duathlon Championships in an exciting race organised by Triathlon Malta and supported by Eurosport Malta. Seguna made it three in a row as she once again defended her National Duathlon Championship Title which she won in 2017 and 2018, while Shaun Galea added this title to his already distinctive array of National Titles.
Triathlon Malta made use of the newly tarmacked roads around the ex-military runway at Siggiewi for the cycling circuit while the runs were along the scenic roads in the Ghar Lapsi and Tal-Providenza areas. From the very first seconds of the race, Galea of Pembroke Atleta Triathlon & Athletics club, immediately went in front of the pack to set the pace and cover the 6500m on the challenging route with a comfortable lead of 40 seconds over club-mate Darrel Schembri who has been featuring in the top groups in the past handful of races. The short bike course lapped 10 times, together with the drafting format of the race gave way to exciting and attacking cycling. In fact a group of 5 male cyclists managed to challenge Galea and register a faster time than his, including Josef Bonavia who recorded the fastest bike segment. In the second run and final segment of the race, Schembri managed to obtain the best time but Galea held comfortably to the lead and won the race in a time of 1 hour, 8 minutes and 21 seconds. Coming in second place with a 90 seconds difference was TriGozo’s Michael Bongailas, with Mosta Tri Team's Bernard Sant trailing him with just 10 seconds away.
The female race was completely dominated by Mosta Tri Team’s new signing, Margaret Seguna who took off immediately and registered a staggering 3 minute lead at the end of the Run 1. In second place, Lara Buttigieg fought hard on the bike and managed to pull off half of Seguna’s lead. But it was again in the run that Seguna left no chance for her competitors as she went on to take the third Duathlon Championship in as many years in a total time of 1 hour 17 minutes and 47 seconds. Buttigieg held on to the second place while Anjelika Ruggier who had strong runs but a rather problematic bike segment had to settle for third place overall.
In the Age Group Categories, Debora Desira & Malcolm Vassallo won the Under 20 while Darrel Schembri the Over 20 categories. The Over 30 titles were claimed by Maureen Farrugia and Josef Bonavia, while the Over 40 winners were Marlon Mallia and Miriam Borg Saydon. Suzanne Farrugia and Brian Magri took the Over 50 award while Victor Calvagna won the Over 60 title.
Immediately after the race, Seguna expressed her satisfaction for her race. ‘I felt strong and in control all throughout the race but I also managed to enjoy every part of the challenging but beautiful course especially during the run. I am very grateful to the Malta Triathlon Federation for putting up this race and to SportMalta for the FlexiTraining Scheme. I am also very appreciative for the managers at the Intensive Therapy Unit were I work for their constant support and understanding. Now I can focus on my most important race at the European Championships in the Netherlands and the rest of the triathlon season in Malta’ said Seguna. Echoing the same feeling, Shaun Galea was ecstatic as he stated that ‘Winning this National Championship has a very important meaning to me as it was the first time that I won this title and redeemed myself after last year’s performance. I approached this race with an aggressive attitude from start to finish as I wanted to test my fitness for the season ahead. It gave me a great morale boost for the upcoming races especially in view of my main competition this year for the European Triathlon Championship with the support of the Malta Triathlon Federation and the Maltese Olympic Committee’ said a radiant Galea.
Triathlon Malta also organised 4 youth races immediately after so as to continue to develop local youth triathlon. These races were attended by a record breaking 50 budding triathletes between 6 and 16 years of age mainly coming from the MYTA-Malta Youth Triathlon Academy and TriGozo. In the Juniors Category 4, it was Pia Zammit and Pavel Dalli who took the honours, while Kai Azzopardi and Kayleigh Abela won the Youth Category 3 races. In the Minors Category 2 it was Paul Camilleri and Julienne Woods who finished first and Aiden Muscat and Miyah Vella won the Cadets Category 1 races.
The local multisport calendar now continues with other races in the coming months with the Federation’s other two national championships for Aquathlon taking place on the 29th of June and the Triathlon Grand Finale on the 13th of October.
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