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Dejan Grech, Katryna Esposito take main honours at SportMalta Awards

Ħamrun Spartans FC named Team of the Year

The winners of the SportMalta Awards Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali were announced on Saturday night during a gala ceremony at the Sir Temi Zammit Hall in the University of Malta.

The 63rd edition saw the return of the finalists and guests back as an audience. The final night started with the Red Carpet hosted by Malta Sports Journalists Association’s General Secretary Lorraine Cunningham and Special Olympics athlete Gilmour Borg.

Guest speakers during this event included the Minister responsible for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation, Clifton Grima, SportMalta CEO Mark Cutajar and Sandro Micallef, president of the Malta Sports Journalists Association and SportMalta chairman Prof. Andrew Decelis.

Also present former Maltese athlete Tanya Blake, Gyorgy Szollosi, president of Hungarian Sports Journalists Association and AIPS Europe vice-president, Cyprus Sports Writers Association General Secretary Mikaelo Papadakis, AIPS Europe president Charles Camenzuli, and president of Unione Stampa Sportiva Italiana Gianfranco Coppola.

As usual. this annual awards ceremony was a collaboration between the Malta Sports Journalists Association and SportMalta, with the backing of the Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation.

During the live show hosted by Mario Bonnici and Laurie Pace, a total of 11 honours were announced, seven of which were a result of the votes by the jury.

The rest of the awards included the People’s Choice Award, the International Sports Event of the Year chosen by the Executive Committee of the Malta Sports Journalists Association and the other two were given out upon a nomination by Special Olympics.

Eight Ball pool player Dejan Grech, winner of the European Championships was named as the Sportsman of the Year for the second time in his career.

On the other hand, Katryna Esposito wrote her name on the Sportswoman of the Year award for the first time in her career after the young judoka clinched a bronze medal at the Mediterranean Games in Oran before striking gold at the Small Nations Championships.

Weightlifter Tenishia Thornton returned home with two awards to her name. The gold medallist at last year’s World Youth Championships retained her title in the Young Athlete of the Year Women award while also being named as the People’s Choice Award winner.

Thornton’s mentor, Jesmond Caruana secured the Coach of the Year Award.

Blackball player Chaylon Castaldi secured the Young Athlete of the Year Award Men while Terry Camilleri won the Official of the Year Award.

Ħamrun Spartans Football Club secured the Team of the Year Award for the first time after their historic run in the UEFA Conference League qualifiers last summer which saw them reach an unprecedented berth in the Play Off Round.

Gilmour Borg (swimming) and Mireille Giles (swimming) took the awards nominated by Special Olympics Malta.


Sportsman of the Year – DEJAN GRECH (Eightball Pool)

Sportswoman of the Year – KATRYNA ESPOSITO (Judo)

Youth Athlete of the Year Men – CHAYLON CASTALDI (Blackball)

Youth Athlete of the Year Women – TENISHIA THORNTON (Weightlifting)

Team of the Year – ĦAMRUN SPARTANS (Football)

Coach of the Year – JESMOND CARUANA (Weightlifting)

Official of the Year – TERRY CAMILLERI (Snooker)

International Sports Event of the Year – Special Olympics Invitational Games

People’s Choice Award – TENISHIA THORNTON (Weightlifting)

Special Olympics Athlete Man Award – GILMOUR BORG (Athletics)

Special Olympics Athlete Woman Award – MIREILLE GILES (Swimming)

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