The Malta Triathlon Federation congratulates the new Triathlon Champions for 2013 : Michelle Vella Wood and Keith Galea
In adverse weather conditions yet in dominant fashion, Michelle Vella Wood and Keith Galea claimed the National Triathlon Championships in style in an exciting, drama-filled race!
Kieth Galea was home in 2:03:20, followed by Fabio Spiteri in 2:06:17 and David Galea in 2:08:31.
It took Michelle Vella Wood 2:11:44 to cross the Finish Line, followed by former Champion Danica Bonello Spiteri in 2:14:52 and Under 23 talent Hannah Pace in 2:17:39.
Jesper Mortensen & Caroline Zammit claimed the Over 40 category, while Joseph Cortis and Marian Belsten won the Over 50 Category.
Wayne Spiteri and GB's Michelle Scott claimed the top spots at the Sprint Distance, with Denise Buttigieg being the first Maltese female in the same race.
To each and every participant - a huge well done!
(Photos below courtesy of Mr Edward Enriquez)
Race Coverage - by Maria Vella-Galea
Over 80 athletes took part in today's BBB-Buff Malta National Championships, racing in either the Standard (1.5k swim, 40k cycle, 10k run) or the Sprint Distance (750m swim, 20k cycle and 5k run). The race, which took place in adverse weather conditions, saw current National Champion Keith Galea retain his crown and National Duathlon Champion Michelle Vella Wood crowned new female National Triathlon Champion, breaking Danica Bonello Spiteri's seven year unbeaten reign.
Galea won his third National Title, retaining his crown for the second year running winning the race in a time of 2:03:20. Leading from the word go, Galea suffered what could have been a major setback due to a puncture in the cycle leg. This however did not adversely affect Galea's performance even though he had to stop and change tyre in transition. Galea kept the lead and won comfortably with a four minute advancte over second placed Fabio Spirteri who clocked in an overall time of 2:06:17. Third place was secured by veteran David Galea who was fresh from his Age Group win in the Vulcano Standard Distance Triathlon in Sicily last weekend.
In the females' category, Danica Bonello Spiteri had a fine showing in the swim, coming out of the water a good 20 seconds before contendors Michell Vella Wood and Hannah Pace, but Vella Wood started to narrow the gap in the bike segment and over taking Bonello Spiteri in the run to win the title in 2:11:44. Vella Wood's win today showed her consistency in her performance throughout the season which saw her also clinch the National Duathlon Championships and the B'Kara St. Joseph Sprint Series. Bonello Spiteri crossed the finish line after 2:14:52 securing second place. U23 Triathlete Hannah Pace had a fine showing clocking 2:17:39 a securing a podium finish in what was her third Standard Distance race of her triathlon career.
In the Sprint category, the males' podium saw newcomer Wayne Spiteri win his first race clocking a time of 1:04:51. Graham Borg, who was also still fresh from a successful showing in the Vulcano Standard Distance in Scily, came in second place in 1:07:13 despite suffering a nasty fall due to the wet slippery roads. Mark Micallef came in third place in 1:09:31.
Michelle Scott from Great Britain, pipped Denise Buttigieg to first place in the Female Sprint category with only a two second difference in what was a very closely fought battle. Margaret Seguna, returning to triathlon after an injury came in third place in 1:21:11 thus ending her season on a very good note.
"As predicted the National Championships did not disappoint. From a participation level we had a record number of entries, from an athletic perspective we have seen a number of personal best times being registered and spectators were given the opportunity to watch some high level triathlon" said Cyprian Dalli, President of the Malta Triathlon Federation. "The National Championships are the culmination of the season of which we are satisfied with on many fronts. We hope that the growth our sport has enjoyed this season will continue to grow as the Federation now starts gearing up for the forthcoming season"
The Prize Giving ceremony took place immediately after the race and carried out by Mr. Mario Micallef, Director of Sports Malta Olympic Committee and Dr Stefan Buontempo, Parliamentary Secretary for Research & Innovation, Youth and Sports.
The Malta Triathlon Federation is greatly indebted to its partners and sponsors without which help the organisation of such events would not be possible - BBB Bike Parts, www.buffmalta.com, Garmin Malta, MZ (Marketing) Ltd, Flora Pro Active, Western Union Business Solutions, Pringles, Attard Bros, B'Kara St. Joseph Sports Club, Go&Fun, The Cyclist.
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