Hammer thrower Shoemake achieves Euro qualification, six athletes get Balkan pass

Hammer thrower Bianca Shoemake has achieved direct qualification for the European Athletics U18 Championships which will be held in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia later in Summer after a fantastic performance at the Young Athletes Challenge Meeting, throwing 58.51m, achieving a national record in her age group with that result.

With this result, the Rush AC athlete has also qualified for the Balkan Under 18 Championships, an important warmup before the top European competition, where she will be joined by her teammate Thea Parnis Coleiro who will be competing on the 100m, following her performances in the earlier part of the season. Amomg the men, Pembroke’s Michael Debattista Segond got his Balkan pass, clocking 4:01.82 in the 1500m race, where he finished second behind Jean Paul Debono (3:55.33).

International qualification was also achieved by LaSalle’s Julian Zarb, who makes it to the Balkan Under 20 Championships courtesy of his win on the 3000m this weekend in the Open Challenge Meeting, running a commendable time of 8:55.05. Isaac Bonnici (Rush) also qualifies for this high-profile international event, winning the 800m race with a strong time of 1:54.19.  Nicolai Bonello (La Salle) had already secured his qualification in this category following a string of national records, reaching 4.80m in the pole vault in earlier challenge meetings.

At the Young Athletes meeting, Chloe Ann Farrugia (Savio) threw 26.57m in the discus which is the girls’ all-time best for the Under 14 category.

On the other end of the age scale, last weekend’s event witnessed a stunning performance by veteran Charles Cilia, with the 58-year-old athlete winning the 5000m race in 16:57.40.

National Record for Gina Mcnamara

One of the longest-standing Maltese records fell at the Trials of Miles at the Icahn Stadium in New York, as Gina McNamara completed her 5000m race in 16:34.16 to lower the previous mark held by Carol Galea by almost 10 seconds. At this same meeting Gina also ran the 800m recording a time of 2:07.01.

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