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MALTA-GOZO-MALTA OPEN WATER SWIMMING COMPETITIONS

The open water swimming season came to a spectacular end with the channel swims organised by Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club.

A flotilla took over the stretch of sea between the islands, as boats escorted 92 swimmers racing towards the finishing buoy at Marfa.

The prevailing swell near the island of Comino, hampered all swimmers from achieving their pre-set timings. However only two swimmers did not finish the race.

BARTOLO AND BELSTEN PREVAIL IN THE MALTA-GOZO-MALTA RACE

Eleven swimmers took part in the eleven-kilometre race starting from Marfa in Malta, proceeding towards Ras il-Qala in Gozo and back to Marfa.

In the Males race Gilbert Bartolo swam the distance in three hours, 17 minutes, 14 seconds, followed by Roberto Demicoli (3:22:49) and Sylvester Cilia (3:22:54).

Veteran swimmer Marian Belsten was the first female to finish the grueling race in a time of four hours, one minute and 14 seconds.

Second was Nathalie Azzopardi (4:20:39) and third finished Sandra Schembri (4:53:26).

CHAMPIONS AGIUS AND DEMICOLI WIN THE GOZO-MALTA RACE

Newly crowned open water swimming champions Neil Agius and Sarah Demicoli were the winners in their respective categories.

While Neil Agius was dominant from the start, a battle for dominance in the Females race raged throughout the whole channel.

Agius finished the race in one hour, 17 minutes, 14 seconds, in front of Jean Claude Cutajar (1:26:36) and Andrew Grech (1:39:44).

Beaten in the last race of the championships by young Amy Micallef, Sarah Demicoli went all out for a revenge in the big race.

She proved her championship mettle by keeping the youngster at bay, in spite of the latter’s brave effort.

Demicoli finished in one hour, 28 minutes and 51 seconds, one minute, four seconds in front of Micallef.

Lara Buttigieg finished third in one hour, 58 minutes and 53 seconds.

Mr Daniel Agius of Festina Watches presided over the prize giving ceremony at the end of the races.

The swims were organised under the auspices of the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta.

By: Euchar Camilleri
 
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