To start relating to the events of this round of the 2018 competition, without saluting our valiant athletes who battled keenly to keep the Pembroke banner on high, would be doing a grave dis-service. Bereft of quite a number of our top athletes, it was left for the great hearts of these athletes to sportingly fight it out for precious points. This was a triumph against great odds and for this alone Pembroke is indeed PROUD to have witnessed such a commitment. At the end of the skirmish, our men proved their resilience by finishing ahead by one point, to now lead on an aggregate of 13 points. This is far from being a comfortable lead as missing out on the points in just one event in the final round would level the score, if not topple it. For the girls, who perhaps felt the absence of their friends even more sharply, it was a ding-dong affair with the club losing by one point following the dead-heat of the first encounter. This means we must go into the third round strongly to overcome this meagre deficit, if we are to retain the women’s title regained last year. However, for sure it is the boys that are facing their toughest fight. Having just five events at each round means that mathematically, winning four will not even guarantee a come-back, due also to the lack of teams taking part, so nothing short of an all-out victory will do. Indeed, quite a formidable task.
To the Club, our athletes are already heroes. The sacrifice suffered by those who filled in on events at which we missed our prime exponents speaks much louder than the points they deservedly won. To these must be mentioned those athletes who despite their short-comings turned up to represent the club, ensuring that the least damage be done on the collective efforts. Besides the foursome in the relays – maximum points for the men and second best for the girls – the field events saw the club take maximum points in the Long, Triple and Javelin events. A feat repeated by the girls. The protagonists, respectively, were Jeremy Borg, who incidentally was also second in the High Jump, Godfrey Sapiano and Christian Mifsud – also second in the shot – while Claire Azzopardi won both the horizontal jumps and Joanne Vella the Javelin. Meanwhile Leanne Xuereb Ungaro had the best in the Shot and gained 13 points in the Discus, while Peppyna Dalli took second in the High Jump, as did Bradley Mifsud in the Discus. Our star jumpers Ian Paul Grech and Rebecca Sare sacrificed their prime disciplines to take part in the sprints, Ian Paul taking very valuable points – 14 each time – in the 100 and 200m while Becks managed 12 in the 100m and Lara Buhagiar 10 in the 200m. In the long sprint, Mark Mifsud managed 12 and Hilja O’Neill 13 points while in the middle distances Mark Herrera managed 13 points in the 1500m and 11 points in the 800m. In the corresponding events for women, Gianella Bugeja and Shayelle Azzopardi both grabbed 13. Gianella and Ahmed Maxamed later in the day each placed second in the 5000m. As mentioned, five events were reserved for the boys and Jacob Greengrass again delivered the goods in the 1500m which he won handsomely. Top gun in the High Jump was Graham Pellegrini, while David German gained points in two individual events, besides third spot in the relay along with his mates. David gained identical 12 points in the 200m and the discus. In a few days’ time comes the third and final round. ALL our athletes would be expected to make themselves available to help PEMBROKE retain titles, a very hard task this year with the competition that keen. If everybody pulls together, if sacrifices come willingly, the efforts will be rewarded. The Club has fought very hard to be the BEST Track & Field outfit for two decades, and many times our girls’ team too, an enviable record which, naturally, others try hard to break.
Nothing is forever, that is understood, but is now the time? Or shall we prolong our winning streak by again rising to the occasion? Come on Guys, Come on Gals, let us prove once again that PEMBROKE IS TOP GUN IN TRACK & FIELD!!!