The Malta Independent 26 April 2019, Friday

Malta Amateur Athletic Association hold Challenge Meeting 4

Thursday, 26 April 2018, 10:00 Last update: about 13 months ago

On Saturday 21st April, the MAAA organised Challenge Meeting 4 at the Matthew Micallef St John Athletics Stadium. With the athletic season gradually approaching its peak, the favourable weather conditions made it possible for a good number of athletes to achieve personal or seasonal bests.

Competing in the Women's Pole Vault under the beating sun of the early afternoon, Peppyna Dalli (Pembroke) proved to be one of the star performers of the day by setting a new National Record of 3.60metres. She even came close to 3.80m but missed it by a whisker.

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In the Women's 100m, Charlotte Wingfield (St Patrick's), competing in Malta for the first time after her participation in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, won the event convincingly in 12.03. However, there were other strong performances by Rachel Fitz (All-comers Aloysians) who was second in 12.20 and Sarah Busuttil (Rush AC) who was third in 12.36.

Rachel Fitz gave evidence of her excellent form by winning the Women's 200m in a personal best of 24.91. Her winning performance also qualified her for the 2018 Championships of Small States in Liechtenstein. Sarah Busuttil was a strong second in a time of 25.15.

Janet Richard (St Patrick's) was in a sparkling form and dominated the Women's 400m from start to finish. Her time of 56.62 was a seasonal best but was also well inside the qualifying standard for Liechtenstein.

Steve Camilleri (Pembroke) won the Men's 100m event in 11.00sec, the fastest by a local athlete this season. Clayton Sheldon (Pembroke) and Warren Zammit (Rush AC) were second and third and clocked 11.32 and 11.35 respectively.

In the Men's 200m, Jacob El Aida Chaffey (Starmax) edged out Steve Camilleri by a mere three-hundredths of second to win in a time of 22.56.

Matthew Croker (Savio) achieved an admirable double in the Men's 400m and 800m and set seasonal bests in both events. In the 800m, Croker withstood an early challenge from Graziano Geremia (Starmax) who was leading up to the 600m mark. However, the final 200m proved to be a close tussle between Croker and Matthew Rota (Rush AC). In the end, Matthew Croker won the race in a time of 1:59.11 whilst Rota was a close second in a time of 2:00.43

In the 400m, Matthew Croker staved off a strong challenge from Aloysian Nassim Dardouri to win in a seasonal best of 49.98. Nassim was a close second in 50.22. Kerstein Micallef, the youngster from Rush AC continued to show promise by beating the more experienced Mark Mifsud (Pembroke) and Matthew Rota (Rush AC).

In the Men's 1500m Jean Paul Debono (Zurrieq Wolves) was a clear winner. The Zurrieq runner broke the finish line in a time of 4:12.85 well ahead of second-placed Philip Vella of Mellieha AC.

In the Men's 3000m, Charlton Debono (Athletix AC) the freshly-acclaimed Gozitan Athlete of the Year, was involved in another tight race with the promising Luke Micallef of Pembroke. The final outcome was in doubt till the very end but Charlton's superior finishing speed over the last 100m won him the race in a time of 8:56.82 with Luke in second place in a time of 8:57.79. In the Women's 3000m, there was yet another convincing performance by Lisa Marie Bezzina (Pembroke) whose final time of 10:05.83 proved to be a personal best.

In addition to a number of encouraging performances by several senior athletes, there were some excellent performances by the younger athletes.

The Girls' U-16 200m was won by Rachela Pace (Pembroke) in a promising time of 25.99 but the three Rush AC girls Sarah Chouhal,  second in 26.20, Kimahri Charles third in 26.24 and Kayleigh Chetcuti fourth in 26.46, also impressed.

Kimahri Charles of Rush AC won the Girls Under-16 Shot with a throw of 11.49m while second place went to Mireya Cassar (St Patricks) who managed a promising 11.43m. In the Girls U-16 Long Jump there were very good performances by Rachela Pace and Kayleigh Chetcuti who jumped 5.39m and 5.35m respectively.

The U-16 Boys' 200m was also a fast race.  Kurt Zahra (Rush AC) won the race in 23.22 followed by fellow club runner Beppe Grillo in 23.90. Jeremy Zammit (Pembroke) was first in the U-16 Boys' long jump with a noteworthy 5.97 metres while in the U-16 Boys 800m, Matthias Fenech (La Salle) was the winner in an encouraging 2:08.90.

In the Girls' U-14 High Jump, Jade Borg (Pembroke) jumped 1.45m, quite a feat for her age, whilst club mate Elisa Bondin ran a fast time of 44.60 in the 300m. In the Boys' U-14 category, Isaac Bonnici (La Salle) had a fine win in the 1200m in a time of 3:54.20

The fifth MAAA Challenge Meeting will be held at the Matthew Micallef St John Stadium on Saturday 28th April. The meeting starts at 13:30. 

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