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Former winners, and newcomers make the cut among Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali finalists

The Malta Sports Journalists Association announced the five finalists of the 64th edition of the Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali during a ceremony on Tuesday.

The announcement of the finalists was made at the main hall within the Institute for Physical Education and Sports at the University of Malta, in which all semi-finalists were also presented with a commemorative certificate.

Among the athletes who have made the cut for this year’s gala night, there are some former winners and other sportsmen who will be figuring in the final for the first time in their career.

There are 36 athletes and officials who made it for the final night that will be held on Saturday, March 2.

Some of Malta’s finest talent will be vying for the most prestigious awards of this year’s edition.

In the Sportswoman of the Year award, tenpin bowling great Sue Abela is in the running for another success but is facing a tough fight against tennis ace Francesca Curmi, top weightlifter Tenishia Thornton, women’s football star Haley Bugeja and sprint sensation Janet Richard.

In the sportmen of the year award, skeet shooter Marlon Attard made the cut along with world pool champion Clayton Castaldi, GSSe gold medallist Jordan Gusman, blackball champion Steven Muscat and Malta national football team stalwart Teddy Teuma.

The ceremony was addressed by the Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Education, Sport, Youths, Research, and Innovation Matthew Vella together with Sandro Micallef and Lorraine Cunningham, president and general Secretary respectively of the Malta Sports Journalists Association (MSJA).

The 64th edition of the Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali will be held on Saturday, 2nd March and will be broadcast live on TVMSport+ and on the social media platforms of the Association.

In a statement, the Malta Sports Journalists thanked its partners for their constant support, namely Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation, National Lottery, Atlas Insurance, Bank of Valletta, Enemed, Responsible Gaming Foundation, VisitMalta and the French Embassy in Malta.

THE FINALISTS

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR

Marlon Attard (Skeet Shooting); Clayton Castaldi (Pool); Jordan Gusman (Athletics); Steven Muscat (Blackball); Teddy Teuma (Football).

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR

Sue Abela (bowling); Haley Bugeja (football); Francesca Curmi (tennis); Janet Richard (athletics); Tenishia Thornton (weightlifting).

YOUTH MAN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Kai Azzopardi (triathlon); Rylee Borg (weightlifting); Jake Castaldi (blackball); Kayden Lagana (bowling); Steven Muscat (pool).

YOUTH WOMAN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Thyis Antonelli (karate); Caylee Attard (powerlifting); Philippa Busuttil (gymnastics); Kim Camilleri Lagana (weightlifting); Lijana Sultana (squash)

COACH OF THE YEAR

Zeljko Aras (athletics); Vince Saliba (pool); Roderick Tanti (blackball); Manuela Tesse (football); Jonathan Valletta (waterpolo).

OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR

Jesmond Caruana (weightlifting); Aldrin Cassar (athletics); Christabel D’Amato (Special Olympics); Vincent Degiorgio (pool); Philip Gatt (blackball).

TEAM OF THE YEAR

U-18 Women National Team (basketball); U-18 Men National Team (blackball); Women National Team (football); U-18 Men National Team (pool); U-15 Boys National Team (waterpolo).

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

Mario Bonello (athletics); Clayton Castaldi (pool); Gianluca Chetcuti (trap shooting); Brent Spiteri (kickboxing); Matthias Spiteri (sailing); Sophie St John (gymnastics); Colette Sultana (squash); Tenishia Thornton (weightlifting); Rhona Xerri (rugby union).

SPORT FOR SOCIAL CHANGE AWARD

FC Ħamrun Amateurs; Fgura United Football Club; Malta Boxing Association.

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