Youngster Gabriel Farrugia continued to impress with his performances abroad, showcasing significant potential for the future of Maltese athletics.
Running in the European Cross Country Championships this weekend, Farrugia obtained one of the best results by a Maltese athlete on 5km in this discipline.
In Brussels, he completed the race in 18:22, beating athletes from some 19 nations with far more experience in cross country running, including Austria, Italy, Portugal, Germany and Turkey.
Farrugia placed 64th overall, the highest ranking by a Maltese athlete in the European Championships.
He was part of a Maltese delegation that took part in this continental event, an important experience in tough running conditions to which local athletes are not routinely exposed which includes grass, mud and other natural obstacles offered by the Laeken Park in the Belgian capital.
The Maltese athletes were competing among almost 600 athletes from 38 European nations.
Among the men, a strong performance was also delivered by Gozitan athlete David Borg, who ran the Under 23 race, over 7km, in 27:14.
In the men’s open event, Malta champion Luke Micallef confirmed his dominance in cross country running over 9km, classifying as the best Maltese, in a time of 34:12, ahead of Shaun Galea and Charlton Debono.
The open race was won by Frenchman Yann Schrub ahead of Norway’s Magnus Tuv Myhre. The Maltese trio contributed to a final classification of 13th place in the teams’ event.
Among the women, Lisa Bezzina and Rachel Borg placed 54th and 55th respectively in a race that saw the participation of many top female runners, with Norwegian Karoline Grovdal taking gold ahead of Italian Nadia Battocletti.
Sport Malta and the Maltese Olympic Committee supported Athletics Malta to ensure Malta’s participation in this event.
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