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Nielsen and Riou take overall honours at XTERRA Malta

With nearly 200 participants from all around the world, XTERRA Malta ended the somewhat subdued European season of racing at Golden Bay last weekend.

Top international professional athletes competed for €7,500 prize money while the age group amateurs fought for their qualifying place in the World Championships, to be held on December 3 and 4 in Maui, Hawaii.

The outright and male winner was Jens Emil Nielsen from Denmark, with a winning time of two hours 25min, followed by Sebastien Carabin from Belgium and Geert Lauryssen from Belgium.

The ladies winner was Morgane Riou from France, in 2hr 51min, followed by Solenne Billouin from France and Maud Golsteyn from Netherlands.

Malta’s Lara Buttigieg notched a very creditable fourth place, showing remarkable improvement in her racing.

Other notable performances were Danica Spiteri Bonello who had the fastest Maltese age group race and also the fastest overall swim in her age group, earning qualification to Hawaii.

Josef Azzopardi raced a steady and constant race with an excellent overall performance. 

Team Relays and Sprint Distances were also part of last weekend’s triathlon extravaganza, held on a lovely and sunny Golden Bay with plenty of spectators cheering on the participants.

Cisk and Go&Fun provided all the post-race refreshments along with food from Munchies and Nature Valley, helping the athletes recover from the gruelling terrain and effort.

Garmin, Intersport and Visit Malta supported the event to encourage greater sports tourism to Malta.

The event was supported by over 50 XTERRA volunteers, The Cyclist mechanics, Red Cross and Majjistral Park teams, Aqua Marine Watersports, Transport Malta, the Malta Police Force, Mellieħa and Mgarr local councils.

The international XTERRA Trail Marathon Series is next, in Gozo on November 27.

Age group winners will earn qualification for the World Trail Championships in Hawaii in 2022.

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