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Luke Micallef wins silver medal at the Balkan Half Marathon Championships

Luke Micallef won a silver medal for Malta at the Balkan Half Marathon Championships that are currently being held in Niksic, Montenegro.

The result is an historic achievement for Athletics Malta as it is the first time that a Maltese athlete managed to win a medal in this competition

Micallef is one of two long-distance runners that is representing Athletics Malta at the international championships as Lisa Marie Bezzina is also part of the contingent.

Competing in the men’s half marathon, Micallef stormed home in one hour ten minutes and 41 seconds to finish in second place.

Albanian runner David Nikolli won the gold medal, crossing the finish line in one hour ten minutes and seven seconds.

Turkey’s Bahattin Uney completed the podium when placing third overall in a time of one hour 11 minutes and one second.

Micallef’s result in Niksic takes further significance when one considers the strength of the field as the Balkan Championships he faced runners from far bigger countries such as Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Turkey and also Italy.

In the women’s race, Lisa Marie Bezzina failed to secure a place on the podium after coming home in fourth place.

The 2023 GSSE gold medallist crossed the finish line in one hour 31 minutes and 17 seconds to finish on top in the Over 45 age group.

The race was won by Albanian runner Luiza Gega who stopped the clock in one hour 17 minutes and 12 seconds.

Bulgaria’s Marinela Nineva finished a distant second in 1:19.42, ahead of Pinar Demir who took the bronze medal in 1:27.18.

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