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Lisa Marie Bezzina bags fifth success at Pisa Half Marathon

Lisa Marie Bezzina (centre) on top of the podium in Pisa.

Maltese runners enjoyed great success at the Pisa Marathon and Half Marathon that was held on Sunday.

Lisa Marie Bezzina maintained her stranglehold on the women’s half marathon title when she crossed the finish line in first place when completing the distance in a time of one hour 21 minutes 43.03 seconds.

For the Maltese runner, it was the fifth success in the race.

Bezzina, winner of a gold medal in the 10,000m race at the 2023 Games of the Small States of Europe last June, completed the race in a new seasonal best to finish 18 seconds ahead of Brazilian runner Jocasta Oliboni Da Luz who clocked 1:22.01.38.

The final place on the podium went to Irene Faccanoni, of Italy, who ended in a time of one hour 25 minutes 39.26 seconds.

“What a great feeling winning the Pisa Half Marathon for a fifth time,” Bezzina said. “I enjoyed every minute of the last race of my season and also managed a new seasonal best.”

In the men’s race Aaron Mifsud finished in fifth place overall when clocking a time of one hour 11 minutes 52.91 seconds.

Mifsud’s performance earned him the top place in the Overall 45 age group. On the other hand, Matthew Cutajar finished 17th overall with a time of 1:16.38.92 and finished second in the Over 50 age group.

The overall winner in the men’s race was Englishman James George in 1:06.29.84 who finished ahead of Italy’s Girma Castelli (1:07:45.44) and Alexis Garod, of France (1:08.31.09).

In the full marathon, Stefan Azzopardi placed tenth overall when completing the distance in two hours 34 minutes minutes 49.79 seconds.

The race was dominated by Italian athletes with Jbari Khalid taking first place in 2:19.59.84, ahead of Andrea Soffientini (2:25:41.24) and Robert Patuzzo (2:25:41.72).

Post by @timesofmaltasport
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In the women’s race there was a tinge of Malta as the winner of the race was England’s Jemima Farley, who is based in Malta. Farley clocked a time of two hours 36 minutes and 42.25 seconds to finish ahead of Melissa Gibson (2:42.06.24) and Federica Moroni (2:48:58.61).

Josann Attard Pulis placed 14th overall in a time of 3 hours eight minutes and 41 seconds.

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