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Keith Galea and Danica Bonello Spiteri crowned national triathlon champions

Keith Galea and Danica Bonello Spiteri pose with their trophies. Photo: Alex Turnbull

Triathletes Keith Galea and Danica Bonello Spiteri have once again proven their mettle in the local triathlon community when they secured their 16th and 9th national championship titles, respectively, and further solidify their status as accomplished triathletes.

Hosted in Salina, the National Triathlon Championships brought the curtain down on the 2023 season. Organised by the Malta Triathlon Federation the final race of the year brought together a mix of experienced and more novice triathletes. 

The triathlon, which consisted of a 1,500m swim, a 40km cycle and a 10km run, took place in near perfect conditions.

Exiting out of the water first, was Birkirkara St Joseph’s Keith Galea who had a comfortable lead ahead of team-mate Steve Ritchie. Behind them were Roberto Briffa (Agones SFC) and Josef Azzopardi (Tri Gozo), who joined them to lead the rest into the 40km cycle segment. 

The first female to finish the swim segment was Maya Schembri Rodgers (Agones SFC), whose strong swim gave her a good advantage ahead of newcomer Pia Grech (Shamrock Stars SC) and veteran Danica Bonello Spiteri (Pembroke Athleta). 

Meanwhile on the coast road, Galea kept on leading the way, keeping a controlled and steady pace in the six-lap course. 

It was only on the last lap that he gave a strong push to further widen the gap and enter the second transition into the run well ahead of Ritchie, Briffa and Azzopardi.

With Galea well ahead, Briffa was out next on the run but was edged by Ritchie followed by Azzopardi, who eventually overtook the former to move into second place. 

There were no further changes as the race progressed and Galea cruised to his ninth championship title ahead of Azzopardi and Ritchie.

In the ladies category, Bonello Spiteri who exited the water in third place quietly edged Schembri Rodgers and Grech in the bike segment to take the lead.

There was no stopping her as she exited the transition onto the two-lap run, maintaining a comfortable lead before she completed the race to win her 16th national title. Schembri Rodgers and Grech completed the females’ podium in second and third place respectively. 

Trophies were presented to the winners by Michelle Vella Wood, member of the Malta Triathlon Federation Executive Board.

Super Sprint

The Federation also hosted a Super Sprint Distance Race for Under 18 triathletes. Although not an official race, the event gave the young triathletes a racing environment experience, which took place under the supervision of the federation’s technical advisor Bruno Mahsoudi.

In a statement, the Malta Triathlon Federation thanked sponsor Freedom is a Bicycle, Birkirkara St Joseph Sports Club for their logistical support, Transport Malta, and all the race marshalls and volunteers who support the championships on the day.

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