Andrew Abela speaks to Ben Camille on Marathon des Sables experience
In this week’s episode of GAME ON, Andrew Abela relates with Ben Camille on his recent experience of competing in the gruelling endurance race Marathon des Sables.
The Marathon des Sables is an ultra-marathon that sees participants completing 240km of running in the Sahara Desert over seven days.
Abela admits he took a lot of time before he found his place in endurance sport.
“My life is sport has seen me change a lot of disciplines,” Abela said.
“First, I started with basketball then moved to taekwondo, then swimming, cross-fit, kickboxing and then started practising cycling where my love for endurance really started.
“The Marathon de Sables is organised every year in the Sahara Desert and consists of 240km over seven days. Athletes split the overall distance over five stages and you complete the distance by carrying all your belongings on your shoulders.”
Abela said that the conditions of the race were very extreme with race temperatures soaring up to 53 degrees and one athlete passing away with a heart attack.
“Conditions are very tough,” Abela said.
“We were in the middle of nowhere with temperatures soaring up to 53 degrees. We started around 700 participants and only 350 finished.
“The most dramatic incident saw one of the runners die with a heart attack. The race’s medical team did all they could to save him, applying CPR for more than 45 minutes but it was to no avail.
“Obviously his death effected mentally all the participants. After just after what happened you start thinking that you would suffer the same fate with every little pain you feel.
“But luckily I had a very good coach in Kevin Zammit who helped me through this.”
Ben Camille and Andrew Abela then tried to guess the results of this week’s two top matches from the European Leagues.
Manchester United face City in derby
In the English Premier League, Manchester United host neighbouring rivals Manchester City. Ben Camille tipped the match to end in a draw but Abela said that City would prevail 2-1.
United have been under a lot of pressure in recent weeks. Last weekend they bounced back from their 5-0 humiliation against Liverpool when they strolled past Tottenham 3-0.
But in midweek the Red Devils needed an injury time Cristiano Ronaldo goal to grab a 2-2 draw against Atalanta.
United have also lost influential defender Raphael Varane to injury ahead of such a crucial match.
City, on the other hand, bounced back from the unexpected league defeat to Crystal Palace with a 4-1 thumping of Club Brugge in the Champions League that put them top of the group.
Milan host Inter in top-of-the-table clash
Ben Camille and Andrew Abela also had mixed views on the result of the derby between Milan and Inter in the Italian Serie A.
Ben Camille tipped Milan for victory while Andrew Abela said that Inter will prevail.
After seeing their hopes of progressing in the Champions League all but evaporate following a 1-1 home draw against Porto, Milan will hope to maintain their strong form in the Italian Serie A which saw them unbeaten in their last 11 matches and are sharing top spot with Napoli.
Inter on the other hand need to win at all cost to try and reduce the gap from the league leaders which currently stands at seven points.
The Nerazzurri come into the match after an impressive 3-1 win over FC Sheriff in the Champions League and will hope to boost their hopes of retaining the league crown with a win over their fierce rivals.
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