Malta has won its first ever gold medal at the Balkan Championships Marathon held in Belgrade. Fresh from his impressive silver on the Half Marathon a fortnight ago, Luke Micallef went one better this time claiming top spot in the Marathon.

In a hot day in the Serbian capital, Micallef fought off the challenge of two strong Turkish marathoners in an uphill finish to claim top spot in 2:26:38, ahead of Selim Seven (2:27:04).

The Belgrade Marathon was won by Kenya’s Gilbert Chumba (2:11:48) ahead of Gilbert Cheruyot (02:12:20).

While Micallef finished the Marathon in fourth place overall behind three Kenyan athletes, he won gold for Malta, being the first athlete competing in the Balkan Championships to cross the line, an impressive feat given the line-up of strong athletes from Central and Eastern Europe.