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High-profile athletes take centre stage in record-breaking EAP meet

Molly Scott of the Republic of Ireland crosses the line first, just ahead of Argentina's Maria Lamboglia. Photo: James Azzopardi

The record-breaking EAP Malta international meet, sanctioned by World Athletics, saw high-profile athletes from across the globe take centre stage at the Marsa track, on Saturday.

A record of 40 nations were represented in this fifth edition of the EAP meet.

This edition saw the participation of over 260 athletes and coaches – a record, including more than 120 Maltese athletes.

Among the notable foreign athletes that featured in this meet was Italian triple jumper Andrea Dallavalle who lived up to the expectations and won the event with a 16.52 mark.

Dallavalle was a silver medalist at the 2022 European Championships in Munich.

Six-time Serbian champion Anja Lukic did not upset the odds as well, crossing the line first in the 100m hurdles race in 13.34.

Puerto Rico representative Alysbeth Felix, one-time national champion, won the long jump female event with a mark of 6.35.

Kenya sprinter Mark Odhiambo, whose personal best is an impressive 10.05, finished joint-third in the 100m race won by Noureddine Hadid of Lebanon in 10.45, with Haachim Maaroufou of Comoros placing second.

Odhiambo recorded a 10.49, crossing third together with Bori Akinola of the Republic of Ireland.

Maaroufou, then, got his revenge over Hadid in the 200m race as he won with a season best of 20.57 while the Lebanon athlete placed second in 20.59, a personal best.

In the women’s 100m event, local athlete Thea Parnis Coleiro broke a long-standing U-18 national record while equalling the U-20 mark with a 12.09 win in her heat.

The main final was won by Molly Scott, of the Republic of Ireland, with a time of 11.64 with Argentina’s Maria Lamboglia equalling her season best at 11.68 in second place.

Lamboglia, on her part, did win the 200m event with a personal best of 23.54, ahead of Malta’s Carla Scicluna who recorded a season best of 23.82.

Keenan Blake, from the Netherlands, triumphed in the 400m race in 46.65 while Republic of Ireland’s Michella Duggan won the female event in 5.672, with Malta’s Kay Testa placing third in a season best of 58.33.

The 800m races were won by local athletes in Julian Zarb (1:56.20) and Mireya Bugeja (2:16.82, a season best).

Moreover, another Maltese athlete won his event in Jean Paul Debono whose season best of 3:55.93 earned him the highest spot on the podium in the 1500m.

Malta’s Sana Grillo registered a season best of 3.62 in the female pole vault.

In the other events, Greece’s Christos-Panagiotis Roumtsios won the 110m male hurdles in 14.27 while Hamman Le Roux of France won the 400m hurdles race in 50.29.

Paul Ogun of Great Britain clinched the long jump event with a mark of 7.24 while Georgina Forde-Wells, also of Team GB, won the triple jump with 12.96.

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