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Sprinters take the limelight in Athletics Malta Winter Championships

Claire Azzopardi (centre) on her way to victory in the 60m race. Photo: Victor Camilleri

The first part of the Athletics season came to an end this weekend as Athletics Malta hosted its Winter Championships at the Matthew Micallef St John Athletics Stadium in Marsa.

Graham Pellegrini notched another national record in the Winter Championships winning a high-adrenaline 300m final in 33.15 seconds, with the Pembroke athlete edging Omar El Aida Chaffey (Żurrieq), who came in second in 33.93, and Luke Bezzina (Pembroke) who clocked 34.66.

El Aida Chaffey had his moment of glory striking gold in the 60m sprint, clocking 6.82s, a mere 0.03 ahead of Beppe Grillo, El Aida Chaffey’s twin brother Jacob in third place.

A notable performance in this race was recorded by Lyon Falzon, whose 7.20s timing earned him fourth place and an Under 18 category record.

One of the most exhilarating races of the day was surely the 60m women’s sprint.

Claire Azzopardi edged out Carla Scicluna, with the slightest of margins, with Azzopardi clocking 7.59s, a mere one-hundredth of a second ahead of her Pembroke team-mate.

There was another remarkable performance from Under 18 athlete Thea Parnis Coleiro (Rush AC) who is gaining ground on her more experienced rivals, claiming third place in 7.77s, 0.01s shy of the national record at her category.

Isaac Bonnici needed just a week to break again his new national record in the 600m, with the Rush athlete further lowering the best-ever Maltese time (Seniors, Under 23 and Under 20) to 1:20.40 in a race completely dominated by the youngster.

The 1,000m race proved to be also an interesting contest with Żurrieq’s Jean Paul Debono claiming gold in 2:31.61, followed by another fine performance by young Michael Debattista Segond, an Under 18 athlete who finished in 2:33.89, once again making his an Under 18, U-20 and Under 23 record.

Dillon Cassar was a clear-cut winner in the 3,000m race when completing the distance in eight minutes 32.59 seconds.

The Mellieħa AC runner finished ahead of David Borg (9:06.66) and Thomas Grehc (9.39.26.

Meanwhile, Athletics Malta has commenced a Level 2 coaching course, led by European Athletics Coordinator Ralph Mouchbahani.

A total of 18 coaches, having completed the first level, are attending this course, which kicked off on Monday.

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