On Saturday 7th April the MAAA organised Challenge Meeting 2 at the Matthew Micallef St John Stadium. The meeting which comprised over 60 different events for the different age-groups also attracted a number of foreign athletes who were in Malta for a training camp during the Easter period.
Rachel Fitz of Allcomers Aloysians won the 100m and 200m Women Open in fine style. She won the 100m from Lane 1 in 12.57 preceding the Pembroke athlete Carla Scicluna who clocked 12.78. In the 200m race, running from lane 8 Fitz and into a headwind hit the finish line in 25.57. The St Patrick’s athlete Janet Richards placed a close second.
There were other interesting performances in the Women’s Open category. In the Long Jump there was a close tussle between the two Pembroke athletes Rebecca Sare and Claire Azzopardi. In Saturday’s competition, Rebecca won the event with a best jump of 5.61m while Claire was a mere 6cms behind.
Rebecca’s winning jump also meant that she achieved the qualifying mark for the 2018 Championships of the Small States due to be held in Liechtenstein in June. This means that she becomes the second long-jumper to qualify as Claire Azzopardi had also achieved the qualifying standard in Challenge Meeting 1.
In the Women’s Pole Vault, Peppyna Dalli (Pembroke), the former gymnast won her event with a very promising jump of 3.40m.
In the Men Open events, one of the most eye-catching performances was that of Bradley Mifsud (Pembroke). Mifsud who earlier this year set a new National Record in the Javelin gave evidence of his versatility by winning the 200m in an impressive 22.43 ahead of Warren Zammit (Rush AC) who clinched second place in a good time of 22.92
The 400m was won by Savio stalwart Matthew Croker in a time of 50.90. Kerstein Micallef (Rush AC) managed to notch second place in the 400m race ahead of the more experienced Mark Mifsud (Pembroke).
In the 1500m man, favourite Jean Paul Debono of Zurrieq Wolves, had a clear victory in 4.16.13 ahead of Philip Vella (Mellieha) and club-mate Neil Brimmer.
The Men’s 3000m race was perhaps the most exciting competition of the day. In the early stages, Athletix AC runner Charlton Debono was closely challenged by Dillon Cassar of Raptorz AC. As the race progressed, Debono opened a gap on Cassar but in the final laps Italian runner Rocco Lancelotti came from behind to pip Debono to the post by a mere two-hundredths of a second. Lancelotti won the race in a time of 8:54.68.
In the Open Discus, Luke Farrugia (Rush AC), who is aiming to become the first Maltese discus thrower to go beyond 50m had a winning throw of 48.45m. In the Junior Category, Karol Spiteri (Savio) made a welcome return to competition after being side-lined for many months because of injury. He confirmed his promise by winning his age-category with a throw of 43.03m
In a meeting which attracted over 200 participants, there were also a number of good performances in the Under-16 and the Under-14 Categories. In the Girls’ U-16 200m, three athletes from Rush AC – Kimahri Charles, Sarah Chouhal and Kayleigh Chetcuti – managed to dip below the 27 sec mark with Kimahri snatching victory in a time of 26.56 from Sarah Chouhal who clocked 26.68.
In the Girls’ U-16 Long Jump, Rachela Pace (Pembroke) and Kayleigh Chetcuti both jumped well over 5 metres with Rachela Pace winning the event with an excellent jump of 5.57m.
In the U-16 Boys’ Long Jump, Jeremy Zammit of Pembroke won the event with a winning jump of 5.92m while Beppe Grillo (Rush AC) won the U-16 200m race in 25.04. In the U-16 Boys 800m, La Salle athlete Matthias Fenech clocked an impressive 2:11.07 while team mates Gabriel Bonnici and Julian Galea Soler were second and third.
In the U-14 Boys’ 1200m, La Salle runner Isaac Bonnici proved to be in a class of his own by dominating the event from start to finish and recording a final time of 3:58.31, while fellow La Sallian Matthew Galea Soler won the U-14 300m in a time of 44.35.
The Third MAAA Challenge Meetings will be held at the Matthew Micallef St John Stadium on Saturday 14th April. (1:30 p.m.)