Malta was recently represented at two high level international Paralympic competitions in the para swimming and para athletics disciplines respectively.
On the para swimming front, Exiles SC para swimmer Maja Theuma competed at the World Para Swimming European Open Championships, which took place on the island of Madeira, Portugal last May.
The competition saw around 380 athletes from 47 nations in action at the Penteada Swimming Pools Complex in the island’s capital, Funchal.
Theuma participated in the 100m freestyle S6 and the 50m freestyle S6.
Competing in the 100m freestyle S6, she stopped the clock at a time of 2:21.99, this being her fastest swim in 2021.
In the 50m freestyle S6, her first international final, she clocked a 1:11.55 and placed eighth. The competition, which ran with strict COVID-19 protocols in place, marked Theuma’s first international competition since she represented Malta at the 2019 World Para Swimming World Championships in London.
The competition also served as a preparation meet for the Tokyo Paralympic Games due to take place in August 2021.
On his part, Żurrieq Wolves Athletics Club para athlete Thomas Borg took part in the World Para Athletics European Open Championships, held in Bydgoszcz, Poland between June 1 and 5.
The European Championships saw 670 athletes representing 44 nations at the Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak Stadium.
The championships marked Borg’s debut on the international para athletics scene at which he was classified within the T47 para athletics sports category, confirming his eligibility for sprint distance events.
Borg competed in the T47 100m and 400m events, clocking a time of 12.4s (0.8s shy of the with the minimum entry time (MET) standard for Tokyo 2020 in the T47 100m category of 11.6s) and 58.43s respectively.
The World Para Swimming European Open Championships and World Para Athletics European Open Championships are considered to be two of the most important competitions in the build-up to the upcoming Paralympic Games.
In a statement, the Malta Paralympic Committee and the athletes’ coaches commended the excellent work ethic and preparation of the para athletes and the results achieved despite the difficulties presented by COVID-19 in the last 14 months.
Both Theuma and Borg are seeking qualification for the 2020 Paralympic Games at which the world’s top-most para athletes are represented.