Lead by an invincible Keith Galea, Birkirkara St. Joseph triathletes dominated the males’ category in the second race from the Birkirkara St. Joseph Triathlon Series 2012. The Saints grabbed the top four places, all under a time of one hour, two minutes. In the females’ race, national champion Danica Bonello Spiteri of St. Patrick’s A.C., shrugged the opposition of both her Birkirkara club rivals, to maintain her one hundred per cent record in the series.
National Champion Dermot Galea, David Agius Lia and European Under 25 Champion Keith Galea, all of Birkirkara St. Joseph, were the first to emerge from the 750-metre swim at Salini, all swimming the distance in less than 11 minutes 30 seconds. The two Galeas left swim-to-bike transition ahead of their team-mate, who faltered at transition. However it was Rudolph Agius, another Birkirkara triathlete, who replaced Agius Lia at the heels of the pacesetters. Agius cycled the distance in 29 minutes, eight seconds, to go second ahead of Dermot Galea (30:33). Race leader Keith Galea covered the distance in 29 minutes 17 seconds.
The final 5-kilometre run saw the emergence of yet another Birkirkara triathlete Steve Chetcuti. His relentless pace could not be matched by Dermot Galea and Agius, as he surged into second place, without, however, threatening Keith Galea’s lead. The latter won the race in 59 minutes 52 seconds. Chetcuti was second in one hour, 46 seconds and Dermot Galea finished third in one hour, one minute, 12 seconds. Agius also managed to go under one hour, two minutes, with a time of one hour, one minute, 28 seconds.
Champion Danica Bonello Spiteri made sure of her winning result in the swim segment of the race. She swam the 750 metres in 11 minutes 43 seconds, ahead of Hannah Pace (12:16) and Margaret Seguna (12:28). With Hannah Pace loosing pace in the 20-kilometre cycle, and Seguna ruled out with a couple of punctures, Birkirkara St. Joseph triathlete Michelle Vella Wood lead the chase on the champion. The Saints’ triathlete was more than a minute faster than Bonello Spiteri on the bike, to reduce the gap to 25 seconds at the beginning of the 5-kilometre run. Bonello Spiteri cycled the 20 kilometres in 33 minutes 27 seconds, Vella Wood managed 32 minutes 21 seconds, and Johanna Calleja (Birkirkara St. Joseph) clocked 34 minutes 9 seconds in third place. Bonello Spiteri regained her one minute margin during the final run, to finish the triathlon in one hour, six minutes, 30 seconds. Vella Wood finished second in one hour, seven minutes, 31 seconds, and Johanna Calleja finished third in one hour, nine minutes, 50 seconds.
Gary Farrugia (swimmer), Etienne Bonello (cyclist) and G. Micallef (runner), won the relay team competition, finishing the triathlon in 57 minutes, five seconds. Eleven relay teams took part in the race.
The third race in this triathlon series, this year sponsored by Festina Watches (Malta) and The Cyclist of San Gwann, will be held on Sunday, 2 September at Salina Bay, starting at 7:30 a.m. Full results are shown on the Birkirkara St. Joseph S.C. website www.bkarastjoseph.com