Participation at the European Kids Athletics Games annual international event for children ranging from 11 to 15 years of age, in Brno, Czech Republic, saw Malta being represented with an MAAA selection and by another team from local club Starmax.
Competing among 20-odd nations and an all-time high participation exceeding 1500 souls, the MAAA selection came away with a classy performance and top spot in the long jump event for boys aged 15 and an equally formidable performance and gold medal in the 800m event for girls born during 2007.
Capping these two results were podium performances by twin girls from Starmax, between them winning three medals, in all three hues. To make the results all the more memorable, those in the long jump and 60m sprint obtained by Jeremy Zammit will also go down in the record books. In fact, his legal jump of 6.95metres – wind reading being within the 2 second limit – is not only the best ever recorded for an under-16 youth and under 18 nation-wide, it is also a BRNO championship all-time best over the 14 years that this competition has been held. Jeremy actually won gold with another stupendous jump covering 7.04 metres, however the wind reading was plus 2.1seconds. This talented youngster, just turned 15 years, also made it to the 60m final placing fifth, after qualifying with a time of 7.32 seconds in his heat, another all-time best for an under 16-year.
Meantime, in the 800m for girls born 2007, 12-year-old Mireya Bugeja up-ended the rest of the field clocking 2:30.12 minutes to win her own podium gold medal. Suffice to say that such is her talent that the MAAA very rarely puts forward athletes of such a tender age at these Games. On the contrary, within the Starmax team shone the twins Bianca and Thea Shoemake, just 11 years of age. Thea won her 600m event in a time of 1:46.28 minutes, also besting her twin sister Bianca to take second spot in the 60m final for girls born 2008. This after, in the qualifying heats – in typical twin fashion – both girls recorded a time of 8.68 seconds. However, in the final, both went one better, posting times of 8.58 and 8.61 seconds respectively, making it a family podium.