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T & F Challenge Meet 4 – Saliba sets new record

daniel saliba

 Daniel Saliba

Challenge Meeting 4 was split between two days, with the hurdle events taking place on Friday 17th April  and the rest of the events on Saturday 18th April. In the 400m hurdles there were four competitors, all from Pembroke Athleta, with Daniel Saliba setting a new national record on his way to the finish line in a time of 58.96sec. He was followed by Luke Micallef (1:02.55), Darryl Dapi (1:05.53), and Samuel Grech (1:10.19) respectively.

Saturday’s long day at the track kicked off with the Pole Vault event. Pembroke  Athleta made history where 5 athletes from our club competed. All athletes are being coached and directed by our own leading jumps coach Jivko Jetchev, who is an ex- pole vaulter himself. Clayton Sheldon, more known for his sprinting capability, impressed the crowd with his 3.35m bar clearance – a new personal best for Sheldon. This also placed him as first Maltese. Matthias Camilleri placed second with a height of 2.95m. Third Maltese was our Youth athlete Airton Galea, who cleared the horizontal bar at a height of 2.35m – an impressive result for such a young athlete and very likely the best result for a Maltese in the youth category.

In the 70m hurdles for cadets, Alessia Cristina continued where she left off in the previous meeting, running over the obstacles in 11.45sec – a new personal best. Lara Gauci was second, also in a personal best time at 13.11sec.  Cristina’s result is faster than the best established distance of 11.50sec previously set by Tamara Vella, however as due to no wind measurement being appropriate for this distance neither can be considered a record in the true sense of the word.  Meaning that it shall be considered the best ever for the distance and in the category.  In the 300m hurdles, our youth Thea Bonett repeated her personal best time as she ran 54.36sec.

The sprinting event scheduled for the youths was the 200m race. Fast making her mark at the track, Carla Scicluna won the race with a creditable time of 26.49sec.  Kayley Bondin, another athlete of whom is expected a lot, finished third with a time of 27.59sec.  Over to the boys, Gary Ghirxi won the race comfortably in a new personal best of 24.69sec, followed by Luca Falzon in second position, who crossed the finish line in 26.33sec. At the longer sprint event, the 300m race for cadets, Alessia Cristina was first over line first, clocking 43.44sec, an incredible 6.5sec lead over the competition. In the equivalent event for the boys, Sean Mallia crossed first in a time of 43.43sec.

Continuing her winning streak Thea Bonett added the 800m, clocking 2:43.59, while Luca Falzon crossed the finish line second in a time of 2:23.36.

More victories for our youngsters continued to be registered in the jumping events . Rachela Pace won the cadets high jump, the only girl to clear the bar at a height of 1.35m. Alessia Cristina placed second as she cleared the 1.30m height. For both girls this was a new personal best. Our cadet Aidan Carabott won the boys high jump with a height of 1.15m while In the horizontal jumps, Thea Bonett marked her third top spot with a leap of 4.11m to win the girls long jump.

Martina Mamo, our leading youth thrower in the younger categories, continued with her fine showings as she won both the Shot Put and Javelin, with throws of 9.32m and 20.65m respectively, her Javelin throw being a new personal best.

On to the senior events.  In the eye catching 100m sprint event we saw the return from injury  of Sian Pledger who crossed the finish line second in a time of 12.48sec, behind the current leading sprinter Rachel Fitz (Allcomers Aloysians)  who won the race in a season best of 12.39sec.  Julian Mifsud, the current Pembroke leading male sprinter placed third in a time of 11.29sec, behind Luke Bezzina (10.96sec) and Rachid Chouhal (11.07).

In the one-lap 400m, Pembroke sprinter Charlene Attard crossed the finish line second in a new seasonal best effort of 59.44sec behind Janet Richards (St. Patricks) whose new personal best of 56.47sec is one of the leading performances this season.  In the mens’, our own Luke Camilleri also placed second with a time of 53.55sec, followed in by Samuel Camilleri  on 54.09 seconds.

In the 1500m event, Mark Herrera clocked 4:04.43, a mere 0.01sec faster than Simon Spiteri (St Patricks), which might well be the closest 1500m finish ever witnessed locally.

On to the senior field events, the club’s Long Jumper Godfrey Sapiano won the event with a new personal best effort of 6.14m.   Meantime Ian Paul Grech decided to shift his attention onto the Triple Jump, registering another victory as he hopped, stepped and jumped a distance of 14.30m which is also his new personal best in this discipline.  In the women’s Triple Jump we had the  two Pembroke athletes competing.  Rebecca Sare’, her 12m clearances are now the norm, won the event with a leap of 12.18m, while Dorianne Micallef registered a new personal best with her 11.68m distance.

In the Discus event, our Junior thrower Luke Farrugia’s hurled the discus an unbeatable distance of 46.69m; and Club newcomer Leanne Xuereb Ungaro winning  the shot put with a throw of  8.55m.


Pole Vault Competitors- Clayton, Ayrton, Luke, Matthias (Francesco Borg missing in this photo) all coached by Jivko Jetchev

photo 1

Ayrton Galea

pole vault 3

Matthias Camilleri

pole vault 4

Matthias Camilleri

pole vault 5

Clayton Sheldon

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