Beppe Grillo confirms sprint dominance with double win in National Championships

Beppe Grillo confirmed his dominance as Malta’s top sprinter with a double victory at the National Championships hosted by Athletics Malta. Grillo, fresh of a national record on the 100m earlier this season, raced home on this distance in 10.46s, establishing a Championship Record in the process, ahead of Luke Bezzina (10.81s). Grillo’s supremacy was confirmed in the 200m, with the athlete taking top spot in 21.35s, once again ahead of Luke Bezzina in 22.15s.

The National Championships, held over three days, attracted more than 160 athletes and delivered a number of championship and youth category records.

One of the most exciting races of this year’s event was the 100m women, with Claire Azzopardi (11.77s) just edging out Charlotte Wingfield (11.79s). Youngster Thea Parnis Coleiro did herself proud, completing the sprint in 12.06s, earning her not just an impressive third place but registering the best time ever in the Under 20 and Under 18 categories. Wingfield still had the joy of climbing to the top podium position, dominating the 200m in 23.88s.

Jared Micallef and GinaMcNamara, fresh from their golden exploit at the Championships of Small States of Europe in Gibraltar won the 800m in 1:48.69 and 2:14.26 respectively.

Luke Micallef also completed these Championships with two wins, first in his favourite 3000m steeplechase, with a Championship Record of 9:05.49, and subsequently the 3000m in 8:23.61 ahead of Gabriel Farrugia (8:36.93). In this latter race, a notable performance by youngster Isaac Luke Scicluna, who, clocking in 9:10.92, registered the best ever Under 16 time on this distance.

Dillon Cassar confirmed his 5000m title, while Charlton Debono took home the 10000m title for the seventh time in his career, completing the longest race of the event in 32:44.31.

In the throws, Bradley Mifsud confirmed his strength in the discus winning in 56.26m, also a Championship Record. The long-jump attracted a wide pool of contestants, with Romeo Flavio (6.75m) establishing a personal best to surprise Ian Paul Grech who had to settle for second with 6.72m. Rachela Pace won the women’s event with a 5.95m jump.  In the pole vault, Nicolai Bonello jumped 4.70m, to add a Championship record to a season in which he crushed the national record multiple times.

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