After a nail-biting finish to Malta’s Road Running Series, athletes were back on track for
the first Athletics Malta Challenge Meeting of the season seeking the final push to make
the cut for a place on the Maltese national team at the upcoming GSSE games.

With just a few opportunities left to achieve the necessary timings or distances, athletes
gave it their all at the Marsa Athletics Stadium. As a result, some excellent results were
registered in the various competitions, topping it off a national record in the pole vault
set by La Salle’s Nicolai Bonello with a 4.40m jump.

In the 100m, Beppe Grillo and Carla Scicluna (Pembroke AC) came home first, running
10.71s and 11.87s respectively. Graham Pellegrini (Pembroke AC) seems to be back in
excellent shape running a very reputable time of 10.84s closely followed by Luke Bezzina
(Pembroke AC) in 10.86s. Janet Richard and young Thea Parnis Coleiro (Rush AC) ran
quick times too in 11.97s and 12.24s respectively.

In the 200m, the same protagonists took centre stage with two age category records
being broken by Beppe Grillo and Graham Pellegrini. Grillo broke the Under 20 record
which had stood for an incredible 27 years with a time of 21.40s, just pipping Pellegrini
(21.41) who smashed the Under 18 record. Both athletes qualified for the GSSE with
these remarkable times.

In the female event, Janet Richard pipped Carla Scicluna with a time of 24.40 and 24.41
respectively both meeting the minimum qualifying standards. Kay Testa (Pembroke AC)
finished in 3 rd place with a personal best time of 25.43.

Rebecca Sare’ (Pembroke) AC) had a fantastic day in the triple jump, breaking her own
outdoor personal best four times in six jumps, with her best result, at 12.70m, securing
her a red and white Malta kit for the upcoming GSSE games. She will be joined by Ian
Grech who jumped 14.54m which also enables him to book a place for the highly-
anticipated event.

In the 800m Ben Micallef (La Salle) ran a time of 1:51.94, as he edges closer to a place on
the GSSE team with 1:50 being the cut off time. Isaac Bonnici (Rush AC) took 3 rd place
overall with a time of 1:58.16 a personal best over the distance and claiming an age
category record, previously belonging to second placed Christian Luke Chetcuti
(Pembroke AC) who finished in 1:54.12.

In the male 10,000m race, fresh from winning the Athletics Malta road running series for
2022-2023, Dillon Cassar (Mellieha) completed the distance in a time of 31:10.92.
Gabriel Farrugia (Evolve EC) improved on his personal best by 9 seconds to finish in
31:34.90 and break the U20 national record.

Joelle Cortis wins Brighton 10k

Another success for Maltese athletes abroad as Joelle Cortis, was the winner of the
Brighton 10k road race cutting the tape of the race in a gun time of 35:45. Cortis
improved on her placing from last year’s fifth place at the same event.

Jordan Gusman ran 28:29.85 at the Stanford invitational, in Palo Alto, California, further
cementing his GSSE spot. The race was won by Charles Hicks in a time of 27:57.47.