Youngsters impress in Challenge meeting as Bonello sets new Pole Vault record

18-year-old athlete Nicolai Bonello further extended his pole vault national record, clearing the bar at 4.80m, in yet another superlative performance for the La Salle athlete. The youngster also had a couple of close shaves in his attempts at clearing 4.90m, which will surely increase confidence for further success in the weeks ahead.

At the second Challenge Meeting hosted by Athletics Malta at the Marsa Stadium, which also featured an event for Under 14 athletes, youngsters stole the scene with some commendable performances across track and field.

Bianca Shoemake (Rush) set a new Under 18 national record in the hammer with a fantastic 56.70m throw. This result confirmed the progress of the young athlete in this field discipline, under the guidance of Antonella Chouhal, who coincidentally registered a record herself on the day, in the Over 45 category, with a 46.05m throw. Among the men, Kareem Luca Chouhal obtained his first ever throw above 50m, reaching 51.32m.

In the 400 metres obstacle race for girls, Leah Frendo took first place in 1:04.90, a national best in the Under 14 category.

Claire Azzopardi (Pembroke) continued to demonstrate consistency with a strong sub-12” performance in the 100m, taking home first spot in 11.97s, ahead of Thea Parnis Coleiro (Rush AC) (12.26s), despite a strong headwind.

In the men, the El Aida Chaffey twins completed a double with Jacob crossing the line first in 10.88s, a mere 0.05s ahead of his brother and Żurrieq Wolves teammate Omar.


Julian Zarb (La Salle) also continued to demonstrate remarkable progress this time setting a new personal best on the 800m in a strong time of 1:57.92.


The longest race of the day, the 5000m men’s race, witnessed an exciting battle between two generations of Gozitan athletes, as David Borg (Athletix A.C.) just had the better (15:25.84) of Evolve’s Charlton Debono (15:26.17).


Photo by James Azzopardi