Triathlon Malta will be represented in the forthcoming Triathlon Championships of the Small States of Europe (TCSSE), to be held on Sunday 8th July in Luxembourg by Keith Galea, Steve Chetcuti, Danica Bonello Spiteri, Michelle Vella Wood, Rudolph Agius and Johanna Calleja who all registered strong performances in the Selection Race organised by the Malta Triathlon Association on Sunday 17 June.
The Selection Race, held in Xemxija, attempted to mimic the same type of route athletes will be covering during the forthcoming TCSSE. Changing from the usual venue of Salina to Xemxija proved to be challenging both in terms of race logistics as well as athletes who had to tackle a tough cycling route on the St. Paul’s Bay bypass. The race, which covered Olympic Distances (1.5k swim, 40k cycle and 10k run) was well attended with 27 athletes completing the full distance, whilst another 30 athletes joined forces forming a total of six relay teams.
Birkirkara St. Joseph Triathlete and Duathlon Champion Keith Galea maintained his unstoppable form, winning the recently held Selection Race in 2 hours, 13 minutes, 6 seconds comfortably securing his place in the Malta Team. Galea was followed closely by fellow team mate Steve Chetcuti who came in second place in 2 hours 15 minutes, 54 seconds. Third placed was Athleta Pembroke triathlete Brian Magri who crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 16 minutes and 28 seconds. In the females’ category, current Triathlon and Duathlon champion St. Patrick’s AC Danica Bonello Spiteri showed consistency dominating all segments of the race, although closely challenged by Birkirkara St. Joseph triathlete Michelle Vella Wood who followed closely behind, narrowing the gap in the bike segment. Vella Wood finished second, just 3 minutes, 32 seconds behind Bonello Spiteri, clocking 2 hours, 32 minutes, 48 seconds, third in the females segment was Birkirkara St. Joseph athlete Johanna Calleja who completed the course in 2 hours, 41 minutes, 18 seconds.
“Our athletes are dedicated and committed and we are confident that Team Malta will perform well in Luxembourg, continuing on previous successful performances” said Cyprian Dalli, President of the Malta Triathlon Association. “Triathlon Malta is going from strength to strength – this is not only seen by the strong performance from our top athletes but also from the commitment shown by athletes in general. Determination to improve and cross the finish line is so motivating for the Association and we intend keep on building on this”.
The race was supported by J. Spiteri & Sons Co. Ltd., Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club while marshalled and supervised by a good number of volunteers from the local Triathlon Clubs.
Team Triathlon Malta will be competing in the Foyer Triathlon International of Echternach (Luxembourg) against athletes representing the Small States of Europe namely – Luxembourg, Cyprus, Monaco, Andorra, Iceland, Leicthenstein and San Marino.