During the last weekend of January, members of PAAT were competing at the London Indoor Games 2019. Lacking an indoor facility on our islands, this meet has become very popular with Maltese athletes, as we often see a good number of Maltese athletes participating at these games.
For sprinter Andrea Mizzi, this was his first experience at Lee Valley’s venue but for our jumpers Ian Paul Grech, Claire Azzopardi, and Rebecca Sare’ – all coached by our head coach Jivko Jetchev – this was their third appearance at the games and they all registered some notable results in both horizontal jumping events.
On Saturday, all jumpers registered a new indoor Personal Best mark. Ian hopped, stepped and jumped to a 14.38m in the Men’s Triple Jump competition – which is also a new National Indoor Record (still to be ratified by the association), while Rebecca and Claire registered 5.53m and 5.41m respectively in the Women’s Long Jump competition, to finish in 3 rd and 7 th place.
On Sunday, Ian Paul Grech was up first in the Men’s Long Jump competition. On his last attempt, he registered the longest personal leap of 7.01m which pushed him up to 2nd place – a mere 7cm away from 1 st place. This is also an indoor personal best jump for Grech after improving from his appearance just a week earlier, in Latvia’s EAP meet.
Claire Azzopardi and Rebecca Sare’ were out next on the run way for the Women’s Triple Jump competition. Azzopardi and Sare’ were battling it out in their competition group. Sare’ hopped, stepped, and jumped a distance of 11.71m on her last attempt and pushed herself to first place. However, Azzopardi responded well to that. She composed her jump well and registered an Indoor Personal Best jump of 11.93m on her final attempt, improving her indoor distance by 7cm from the previous week at the U/23 Mediterranean games. Thus, our girls finished in 1 st and 2 nd place in their competition group – and in 4 th and 6 th place over the two competition groups. The distances registered by Azzopardi and Sare’ mean that both jumpers have reached the B standard requirement for the upcoming GSSE 2019, after having already qualified with the A standard in June – July 2018.
Later on, sprinter Andrea Mizzi was up for the 60m race, under the guidance of his coach Zeljko Aras. He clocked an indoor personal best of 7.48sec in his first heat.
These results augur well for the coming 2019 track and field season!
Ian Paul Grech