On Saturday 14th April, the MAAA organised Challenge Meeting 3 at the Matthew Micallef St John Stadium. Despite the windy conditions, the meeting attracted close to 250 athletes including a number of British athletes. The meeting also saw two new National Records in the Hammer events and another in the Men’s 110m Hurdles.
Sarah Busuttil of Rush AC was one of the outstanding athletes of the day. Not only did she win the 100m and 200m Women Open but she also achieved the qualifying mark for the 2018 Championships of the Small States in Liechtenstein in June in both events. In the 100m, she clocked 12.31 to precede Rachel Fitz (Allcomers) by a mere three-hundredths of a second. Sarah then won the 200m in a time of 25.09 while Annalise Vassallo (Zurrieq Wolves) clinched second place in a time of 26.13.
In the Women’s Long Jump there was another close contest between the two Pembroke jumpers Claire Azzopardi and Rebecca Sare. This time round, Claire Azzopardi won the event in 5.60m.
In the Women’s Hammer event, Catriona Cuschieri (St Patricks) recorded a best throw of 41.02m to smash her own U20 National Record. In the Men Open Hammer, Mario Mifsud (Allcomers AC), had a best throw of 49.86 to break his own new national record.
In the 10000m, Lisa Bezzina (Pembroke) set a new personal best of 36:00:86 and in so doing achieved the MQS for the 2019 Small Nations Games in Montenegro. The Men’s 10000m proved to be a close tussle between Charlton Debono (Athletix AC) and Luke Micallef (Pembroke AC) who was running this distance for the first time. The race was decided in the final 200m with Charlton emerging winner in a time of 32:28.36.
The Men’s 100m and 200m were dominated by the visiting British athletes although there were some interesting results by the Maltese sprinters. In the 200m Bradley Mifsud (Pembroke AC) continued to impress by beating the more experienced Steve Camilleri (Pembroke) and Luke Bezzina (St Patrick’s). Mifsud ran a very promising time of 22.17.
The Men’s 400m was won by British athlete Jack Hocking in a fast time of 48.48 but in the final straight Matthew Croker (Savio AC) had to withstand a strong challenge from youngster Omar Elaida (Starmax). Croker edged out Elaida by a mere 0.02 secs to win third place in a time of 50.54. Another interesting youngster Kerstein Micallef (Rush AC) registered a good time of 51.67.
In the Men’s 1100m Hurdles Daniel Saliba (Pembroke) was the only competitor on the day but undeterred by the windy conditions he sailed over the hurdles to set a new national record of 15.79.
The Men’s 1500m and 5000m were dominated from start to finish by Mellieha athletes Philip Vella and Andrew Grech. Philip Vella won the 1500m in a time of 4:18.99 while Andrew Grech won the 5000m in 15.58.00.
The Girls’ U-16 100m produced some very good results. The race was won by Rachela Pace (Pembroke) in a time of 12.65 but the three Rush AC girls all ran below 13 seconds. Kayleigh Chetcuti was second in 12.80, Sarah Chouhal third in 12.82 and fourth runner Kimahri Charles clocked 12.97. The U-16 Boys’ 100m was also a fast race. Kurt Zahra (Rush AC) won the race in 11.74 with Jeremy Zammit (Pembroke) providing some stiff opposition with his time of 12.06.
In the Girls’ U-16 400m, Sarah Chouhal was in a class of her own with a victory in an impressive time of 1:00.42 while in the Boys’ U-16 400m Kurt Zahra won his second event of the day in a time of 55.83 but was closely challenged by Kyle Caruana who ran 56.35 The Boys’ U-16 1500m was won by Jacob Greengrass (Pembroke) in a time of 4:39.14 with second place going to Gabriel Bonnici (La Salle).
The fourth MAAA Challenge Meeting will be held at the Matthew Micallef St John Stadium on Saturday 21st April. The meeting starts at 13:30.