A number of great performances were witnessed during Challenge meeting 5. A day better known for all the personal bests achieved and happy faces all round! Challenge 5 took off on Friday 24th with the steeplechase, in which two athletes, both of Pembroke Athleta took part. Mark Herrera set a new national record time of 9:35.46 followed by Luke Micallef in a time of 10:06.03 , which is also his personal best effort in the discipline.
Alessia Cristina continued with her season to remember, winning the 100m cadet race with an impressive time of 13.24. One may say that the cadets national record is surely within her reach. Aptly so, time will tell. The momentum was as encouraging in the 100m race for youths, in which Carla Scicluna and Gary Ghirxi streaked through in new personal best times. Carla crossed the finish line in 12.90sec and Gary sprinted to the imaginary tape in 11.90seconds. Luca Falzon was third, also with a personal time of 12.55sec. Another note-worthy cadet, Sean Mallia, registered a new personal best of 13.57, even as this wasn’t enough to place him in the top three positions, as he finished fourth.
Success for Pembroke youth also came about In the longer 400m sprint. Athlete Kayley Bondin succeeded in winning with a personal best time of 1:04.15, an improvement of 3sec from her previous performance, while Luca Falzon won the boys’ race with a time of 58.91, also a personal best time. Thea Bonett finished third on 1:08.20 yet another personal best effort.
A double win for Pembroke athletes was also achieved in the 600m event for cadets. Supremo Alessia Cristina won the race comfortably clocking 1:52.38 and Sean Mallia won his with a personal best time of 1:40.89.
Repeating her winning streak from the previous meet, on this occasion youth Thea Bonett won the 1,500m event in 5:32.89, while Anton Debono achieved third place in the boys’ race, clocking 4:55.45, both personal bests.
Alessia Cristina impressed again in the Long Jump event. Explosive on the take off, she leapt 4.79m – a remarkable distance for her age. Rachela Pace achieved second placing, with a personal best leap of 3.88m. On to the vertical jumping event, the high jump, Andre Fenech cleared the bar at a height of 1.40m, which placed him in second position.
On the other parts of the field our young throwers Martina Mamo and Nicole Vassallo continued with their fine performances. Mamo won both the discus and hammer, throwing 25.47m and 29.36m respectively. Meanwhile, Vassallo placed second in both events, throwing the discus a distance of 22.11m and the hammer 21.76m. In the shot put for cadets Rachela Pace improved her throwing by one metre to 8.23m which placed her in second position on the day.
In the 100m event for senior men, Julian Mifsud continued to leave his mark as he clocked a new seasonal best of 11.18sec. He finished the race in third position, however getting ever closer to the current two fastest athletes at the Marsa track this season.
At twice the distance in the 200m, Daniel Saliba was explosive on the curve and maintained a good final 100m, giving a good challenge to veteran Rachid Chouhal. Saliba finished behind Chouhal in second spot, clocking 22.87sec.
Charlene Attard continued with her comeback with another seasonal best in the 400m sprint, as she dipped forward crossing the line on 58.99. This augurs well for a potentially strong 4x400m ladies relay team in the upcoming Games for the Small States. In the equivalent race for men, Luke Camilleri continued his speed preparation for the next season when he finished third behind established runners Matthew Croker and Neil Brimmer of Savio and Zurrieq Wolves respectively. Camilleri clocked a personal best time of 53.54sec, followed by Pembroke’s Samuel Camilleri running a seasonal best of 53.75sec.
We saw a remarkable participation in the 3000m race, as a total of eighteen athletes took part. Pembroke’s athlete Dario Mangion placed second with a time of 9:03.06, behind Simon Spiteri (St. Patricks) who won the event with a time of 9:02.24.
In the longer event – 10,000 m – our athlete Lisa Marie Bezzina, was seen fighting the strong wind in an attempt to run the qualifying time for the upcoming GSSE. She finished her run in a creditable time of 38:39.19, unfortunately short of the qualifying standard, but she will have another attempt.
At the throwing events, our own athletes sustained their fine performances. Luke Farrugia won the Discus event with a throw of 43.55, while Bradley Mifsud guided the Javelin a distance of 57.88m. Women Javelin Record Holder Joanne Vella is meantime getting closer to improving her mark as she registered a throw of 39.01m.
On to the jumping events. In the pole-vault event we saw Clayton Sheldon and Matthias Camilleri both clearing the 2.95m bar, which placed them both in first position. Jason Monreal placed second as he cleared the 2.85m horizontal bar. Our youth athlete gave another credible performance as he vaulted over the horizontal bar at a height of 2.35m.
An interesting competition evolved in the triple jump between Rebecca Sare’ and Dorianne Micallef, both of Pembroke Athleta. Sare’s six jumps were all over the 12m mark, the best of the day measuring 12.25m, only 1 cm off her personal best and the National Record. However, fast improving Dorianne Micallef also gave a credible performance as she achieved her new personal best of 12.06m edging ever closer to Sare`. Moreover, Micallef’s jump was a mere two cm away from the GSSE minimum qualification standard! Clearly, these two Pembroke athletes are pushing each other to a healthy new level!
With the Games for the Small States coming up, followed by the new European Games a few weeks later, the picture involving Maltese athletics for the season is getting more and more defined, with the involvement of Pembroke Athleta and its contribution as strong as ever.
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