Malta’s participation at the European Team Championships in Silesia, Poland started off with a bang as Janet Richard finished second in the 400m women’s race with a splended time of 52.37s, a national record.
With this exceptional performance, she eclipsed her previous best, a 53.49s achieved at the European Championships in Munich last year. The race was won by the Irish athlete Sharlene Mawdsley in 51.55s. Among the men, a creditable four place for Graham Pellegrini with a time of 47.47s. Albania’s Franco Burraj won the race in 46.30.
In the 5000m, Lisa Bezzina fresh from her 5000m silver at the GSSE, completed her race in hot conditions in 17:38.54, achieving 6th place for Malta in a very strong event won by Albanian Luiza Gega in 15:32.39. Gega is a gold and silver medallist at European Championship level.
Points for Malta were also obtained by Christian Chetcuti who placed fourth in the 800m in 1:53.03 in a race won by Bosnia’s Amel Tuka.In the 100m, two sixth places for Malta, with Beppe Grillo (10.82s) and Charlotte Wingfield (12.15s)
Luke Micallef, who won a bronze medal in the GSSE, produced another strong performance on the 3000m steeplechase with a 9:11.87 time, very close to his national record of 9:09:00.
On the field, Mireya Cassar threw 11.44m, in the shotput earning her 8th place, while Antonella Chouhal placed 7th in the discus with a throw of 31.70m, a season best for her.
Cassar was on the field again just a couple of hours later this time in the hammer throw, with her 50.26m result earning her 7th place. Nicolai Bonello’s 4.00m jump earned him fifth place in the pole vault.James Armani jumped 13.78 in the triple ensured a 9th place overall.
With these results, Malta ends the first day at the European Team Championships in a very creditable fourth place in the 15-team Division Three Championships, behind three very strong nations of Austria, Ireland and Israel.