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Watch: Swimmers open up on sport’s challenges with Ben Camille

Malta’s top swimmers Amy Micallef and Thomas Wareing opened up on the challenges they face in their swimming career with Ben Camille during this week’s edition of GAME ON.

Both Micallef and Wareing form part of the national swimming team that are currently preparing for next year’s Games of the Small States of Europe that will be held in Malta.

Micallef has been involved in swimming from the age of eight years old and admits that at first she struggled to adapt to the stringent lifestyle required to successfully practice the sport.

“As swimmers we have ten training sessions every week,” Micallef said.

“I wake up at 5am in the morning and by 5.30am I will be in the water. At first I must admit that I struggled to adapt to the stringent requirements of the sport and I found swimming a bit boring.

“However, as time passed I started to work harder and once results started to improve I felt better and I am always striving to improve.”

Asked to name her most memorable in the sport, Micallef named when she set her first national record when she was only 14.

“My most memorable moment in the sport was when I set my first national record in the 200 metres breaststroke when I was 14 years old. I broke the record during the FISEC Games and I clocked the new record on my way to winning the gold medal.

“Now I look forward to next year’s GSSE where I hope we can win more medals for Malta on home soil.”

On his part, Thomas Wareing has established himself as Malta’s fastest swimmer in the medley races, which sees swimmers swim all four strokes in the same race.

Wareing revealed that last year was tough for him, particularly due to COVID-19.

“2021 was a tough year for me,” Wareing said.

“I had to finish my thesis for my degree an ended up stuck abroad due to COVID-19. We were on a training camp in Turkey when five members of the team tested positive and we ended up spending 20 days in a hotel.

“Mentally it was really tough for me.”

Wareing is now looking forward for next year’s GSSE where he is hoping he can win a medal for Malta.

“The Small Nations Games is the big goal and although I know that I will be facing some tough competition, my goal is to try and at least win a bronze medal.”

Hottest games predictions

The challenge between Ben Camille and Times of Malta Sports Editor Valhmor Camilleri is heating up, as they continue trying to predict the results of the hottest games happening this weekend.

How did they do last week?

It was a poor day in the office for Valhmor Camilleri and Ben Camille last week as due to some surprising outcomes they failed to guess any correct result or outcome of last week’s hottest games of the week.

Total Scores after week 6

In the overall standings, Valhmor Camilleri still leads the way with 290 points while Ben Camille is trailing with 190 points.

We will keep you updated with a tally of their scores every week. A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

Chelsea vs Liverpool (Sunday at 17.30)

Chelsea and Liverpool will battle for the first major domestic honour in English football when the two rivals go head to head in the League Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Both Chelsea and Liverpool will be keen to put their name on the trophy and become the first team to lift the trophy after Manchester City’s monopoly on the cup came to an end after five successive seasons.

Chelsea will be looking to win more silverware this season after earlier this month they were crown as the world champions after beating Palmeiras in the FIFA Club World Cup final.

The Blues warmed up for the showdown with an encouraging performance in the UEFA Champions League where they put themselves in a strong position to progress to the quarter-finals after defeating Lille 2-0 in the Last 16 first leg played at Stamford Bridge.

It remains to be seen whether coach Thomas Tuchel will reinstate striker Romelu Lukaku to his starting formation after he was left on the bench against Lille in midweek.

On the other hand, Liverpool are in fine fettle as Jurgen Klopp’s troops continued to impress in midweek after they crushed Leeds United 6-0 at Anfield to move just three points behind Man. City in the Premier League standings.

Klopp will be keen to lead his team to victory in the League Cup, a competition he struggled to leave his mark since he took over at Anfield.

Ben Camille’s prediction: Chelsea vs Liverpool 1-1.

Valhmor Camilleri’s prediction: Chelsea vs Liverpool 2-1.

Lazio vs Napoli (Sunday at 20.45)

Lazio and Napoli will be looking to put behind them their European disappointment and look to boost their domestic ambitions when the two sides go head to head in the Serie A on Sunday.

Lazio crashed out of the Europa League when they could only manage a 2-2 draw against Porto at their Olympic Stadium to suffer a 4-3 aggregate defeat while on the other hand Napoli were heavily beaten by Barcelona 4-2 at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium for a 5-3 aggregate defeat.

Napoli will be looking to put their title ambitions back on track following Monday’s disappointing 1-1 draw at Cagliari and a win on Sunday could see them keep up the pressure on front runners Milan and Inter.

Lazio, on the other hand, need all the three points to keep their hopes of a top-four finish and a place in the UEFA Champions League.

At present, the Biancocelesti are four points adrift of fourth-placed Juventus.

Ben Camille’s prediction: Lazio vs Napoli 0-1.

Valhmor Camilleri’s prediction: Lazio vs Napoli 1-1.

Hibernians vs Ħamrun Spartans (Saturday at 16.00)

Leaders Hibernians will be looking to put their championship challenge back on track when they face champions Ħamrun Spartans at the National Stadium.

The Paolites are still licking their wounds after seeing their unbeaten record put to an end by Birkirkara last weekend and will be desperate to pick up all three points to ensure they remain ahead of the in-form Floriana who are just one point behind in the standings.

However, they face a tricky challenge in the form of Ħamrun Spartans who are too passing from a disappointing spell which has seen them drift away from this season’s title race.

The Spartans cannot afford to drop any points if they are to put seal to their place in the Championship Pool and will be keen to show a marked improvement from last week’s disappointing showing following a 1-1 draw against Sirens.

Ben Camille’s prediction: Hibernians vs Ħamrun Spartans 1-0.

Valhmor Camilleri’s prediction: Hibernians vs Ħamrun Spartans 1-1

Do you reckon you can beat Ben and Valhmor? Let us know your predictions for this weekend’s hottest matches in the comments below.

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