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National Championships to bring gruelling athletic season to climax

Malta’s athletic season, probably one of the longest and toughest in recent history, reaches its climax this weekend with the Cavalieri Art Hotel National Championships 2020 organised by the Malta Amateur Athletics Association.

The association’s flagship competition, which will include some 34 track and field events, will feature some exciting duels, with some of Malta’s elite athletes looking to write their name in the history books by breaking national or category records.

Probably the most widely anticipated contest will be the 5000m, which will feature an exciting challenge between multiple-record holder Charlton Debono and the rising star Dillon Cassar.

The 100m dash remains one of the highlights in any athletics event, with Luke Bezzina and Jacob El Aida Chaffey having both clocked the fastest times this season over the distance. Among the women, Claire Azzopardi and Carla Scicluna are both looking to break the 12-second barrier.

Other athletes who will be pushing to break new frontiers in their respective fields include Luca Martini (in the hammer throw), Daniel Saliba (110m hurdles), Claire Azzopardi (long jump and triple jump) and Janet Richard (400m).

In consideration of the constantly evolving realities in Malta surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, and following the necessary consultation with health authorities, the MAAA has taken the responsible decision to hold this event behind closed doors.

However, the association has secured live streaming of this event to ensure that it can be enjoyed by all enthusiasts alike.

A packed two-day programme of events highlight the National Championships at the Marsa Athletics Stadium. Photo: Wally Galea

MAAA president Andy Grech said: “This has been a tough year for all sport. Despite all the setbacks encountered along the way, we are proud to provide what we expect to be a memorable experience in athletics.

“Athletes had to endure one of the hardest seasons ever, particularly the need to maintain their fitness earlier this year when all tracks and fitness establishments closed down. These championships will be therefore a celebration of tenacity and dedication, and I look forward to see some great results this weekend.”


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