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Matthew Galea Soler impresses at European U-18 Championships

The start of summer brought a flurry of international activity for a number of Maltese athletes over the past few days with important experience gained through competitive events featuring some of the best continental talent and beyond.

While nine elite athletes took part in high-profile events at the Mediterranean Games in Oran, Algeria, three of Malta’s most promising youngsters took part in the U/18 European Championships in Jerusalem, Israel.

Matthew Galea Soler recorded a formidable achievement, reaching the 400 metres final with a time of 49.06s, lowering both Under 18 and Under 20 national records in the process, despite his first year in this age group.

Nicolai Bonello – fresh from a new national record (pole vault) and Michela Caruana (800m) achieved creditable performances in their respective categories.

Malta’s flag was also raised high in Tampere, Finland, where experienced duo Antonella and Rachid Chouhal achieved respectable performances in a number of events at the World Masters Championships.

Forty-seven-year-old Rachid Chouhal’s consistency in jumping events remained with an impressive silver medal, secured through a 6.57m jump, just one centimetre behind the US winner, and beating the likes of Jamaican James Beckford, an Olympic and World Championship multi-medallist.

Chouhal also did well in the 100m sprint, reaching the final in this event.

Antonella Chouhal secured another international medal after placing third in the weight throw. Her 13.83m result meant a new personal best and a new national record. She also reached the final in the hammer throw.

The spotlight on the sport returns to Malta with Athletics Malta hosting the National Championships, with events reaching their climax over the weekend at the Matthew Micallef St John in Marsa.

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