A number of Maltese athletes braved challenging weather conditions and delivered
encouraging performances beyond our shores throughout the weekend. Running among
some top Italian runners at a meeting in Milan, Italy, Simon Spiteri completed the 5k race in
14’31. This timing consolidated Spiteri’s position on the Malta’s 5000m team at the GSSE
alongside Jordan Gusman. Spiteri continued to improve on his best times this year both on
track and non-stadia events.
At the International 5km of Nice, Dillon Cassar brought home a prestigious second place
with a 14:47 timing while Joelle Cortis emerged victorious among the ladies with a 17:40
Further afar, at the Penn Relays Event in Philadelphia (United States), Gina Mcnamara,
completed her 5000m race in 16:56, enabling her to earn a place in Team Malta for the
same distance, alongside Lisa Marie Bezzina, a week after her impressive national record on
the 1500m distance. Running the same distance, Jordan Gusman recorded a very strong
14:03 at the Drake Relays in Iowa. These two results certainly augur well for Malta’s chances
at the upcoming GSSE.
Several other athletes competed in Marsa at the Fifth and final Athletics Malta challenge
meeting seeking one last push to earn them a place on the Malta team. Youngster Graham
Pellegrini continued to impress after his 200m achievement the week before, winning the
400m race in 47.85 seconds, establishing a new Under 23 and Under 20 record in the
progress. Matthew Galea Soler, Luke Camilleri and Steve Camilleri all dipped below 50” to
all but confirm their presence on the team.
In the jumps, Claire Azzopardi got the perfect boost for the Games equalling her PB with a
6.21m jump, albeit wind-aided. She will be represeting Malta in both long and triple jump
alongside Rachela Pace and Rebecca Sare’ respectively. Sana Grillo jumped 3.50m on the
pole vault to obtain her MQS while Antonella Chouhal improved the W45 record in the
hammer with a 45.43m throw.
The longest distance of the day, the 10,000m, featured two brilliant solo performances by
Luke Micallef and Lisa Marie Bezzina. Micallef took the win in a superb time of 30:23, while
Bezzina concluded in 35:41 to earn the right for a double participation at the upcoming
GSSE, giving her the opportunity to repeat the splended double-gold of Montengro 2019.
The final qualifying event will take place on Monday morning, drawing the curtains on a
packed calendar of competitions through which Malta’s best athletes battled it out for a
place on the GSSE team.