60m sprint national marks set in season opener
The Maltese athletics season got off to a flying start with a memorable day at the Matthew Micallef St John Athletics Stadium last weekend.
Three national records and a host of category records were broken in a number of fantastic displays by both elite and upcoming athletes.
The day belonged to Jeremy Zammit (Pembroke) in the long jump breaking the long-standing senior national record with a 7.73m jump.
The previous record, which stood at 7.71m, was held by Rachid Chouhal.
The latter too set a new mark, attaining a new category landmark at 6.34m among the male over 45, an excellent performance in view of his preparations for the European Masters indoor championships.
Daniel Saliba (Pembroke) also broke his national record over the 60m hurdles distance with an 8.33 seconds finishing time, as he continues his pursuit of self-improvement chasing the sub-eight-second barrier.
A third national record was broken by Pembroke’s Luka Aras on the 300m hurdles event.
In the high jump, Mario Farrugia (Żurrieq Wolves AC) broke the M45 high jump category mark with a 1.43m effort.
In the hammer, U-23 athlete Luca Martini (Rush) claimed the event with a 55.90m throw, just 10cm away from his qualifying mark for the European Throwing Cup that will be held in Portugal next month.
Bradley Mifsud (Pembroke) and Luke Farrugia (Rush) were also seeking qualification for this event in the discus competition, as they also prepare for the 2022 CSSE games and GSSE games.
The two were separated by 40cm with Mifsud being the first to book his plane ticket to Portugal with Farrugia no more than four centimetres away from joining him.
The two athletes will surely push each other for better distances as the season progresses.
The 60m sprints – traditionally the fastest indoor races – as always proved to be an interesting event.
Personal bests were achieved by Pembroke athletes Carla Scicluna (7.65s) defeating Claire Azzopardi by just 0.02 of a second.
Scicluna has surely set her sights on Charlotte Wingfield’s indoor national record of 7.55s.
The meeting also produced some encouraging results from young athletes particularly Thea Parnis Coleiro (Rush), who although still 14 years old, ran the fourth-fastest time of the day.
Amongst the males, Jeremy Zammit (7.02s) edged past Luke Bezzina (7.10s).
Another young athlete running alongside the seniors was U18 Rush AC athlete Isaac Bonnici (Rush), running the 600 metres, breaking the category record in the process in a time of 1:27.45.
Dillon Cassar (Mellie]a AC) made his first season appearance on the track this season in the 5,000 metres, winning the race in style when clocking a time of 14:59.84.
U-20 athlete Gabriel Farrugia, of Evolve, set a new personal best when completing the distance in 15:30.89.