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MALTA 113KM TRIATHLON A SUCCESS

Race day provided a mix of choppy seas, strong winds, heavy rain and blazing sun for triathletes on Sunday for what was considered to be one of the toughest editions of the Ocean Lava Malta 113km triathlon on Sunday in Salina Bay.

Brutal conditions that were to test the mental and physical abilities of over hundred athletes that took part in the indvidual distance and relay team categories.

With a determination to make it to the top place on the podium Graham Borg proceeded almost immediately to establish a gap on the men's field in the swim. 2017 Champion Rudolph Agius kept behind him, though trailed down to fifth place on the bike leg, having to contend with the likes of Josef Bonavia, Michael Bongailas and Adrian Cuschieri.

Despite narrowing the gap with a stronger run, Agius was not able to catch Borg who kept a determined lead from the word go. Veteran David Galea brought his years of experience into play to quietly push ahead and gain substantial time on the run to claim third place.

“Absolutely thrilled with today's performance in the Ocean Lava Malta triathlon championships – I think we all agree that the conditions were brutal but was able to win the race despite some tough competition from Rudolph Agius and David Galea. Well done to all the participants and organisers for making it possible” – Graham Borg – National Male Middle Distance Champion.

Hannah Pace was no match for her female counterparts, outclassing the field when she took her second local Middle Distance Triathlon title in a time of five hours, one minute and twenty seven seconds.

Pace was the second athlete to exit the water and kept a strong determined pace until the very end. Apart from being the fastest female, Pace’s overall result saw her take overall eighth place.

The second female to cross the line, Karen Amato, followed in five hours fifty minutes thirteen seconds, seven minutes ahead of Felicienne Mercieca. The trio were considered to be favourites for a podium finish.

Mercieca exited the water ahead of Amato, but Amato’s efforts on the bike enabled her to gain a substantial advantage over Mercieca, who despite having a better run than Amato had to settle for third place.

Strong performances were also delivered by Suzanne Farrugia who registered third fastest bike segment and Anjelika Ruggier who registered second fastest swim and run.

“I am delighted to take the win at Ocean Lava Malta 113km. This was probably one of the toughest middle distance triathlons that I have ever done due to the brutal conditions and I think my face says it all! Definitely a few lessons to take home but glad with how things are looking for the season ahead of me” Hannah Pace – second time winner of the Ocean Lava Malta and Middle Distance Championships title.

The Relay Teams category was well competed and welcomed some top names in their respective sports – Sarah Demicoli, Andrew Sultana, Paul Privitera for swimming, Nicholas Micallef, Alexander Pettet, Steve Sciberras, Gerrard Said for cycling and the likes of Josann Attard Pulis, Alexander Schembri and Charlie Vella for the half marathon. The winners of the relay teams were :-

1st Place - Sarah Demicoli (Swim), Nicholas Micallef (Bike), Chris Mizzi (Run)
2nd Place – Andrew Sultana (Swim), Gerrard Said (Bike), Josann Attard Pulis (Run)
3rd Place – Paul Privitera (Swim), Malcolm Cachia (Bike), Charlie Vella (Run)

“Being a long distance race creates some big challenges for the organising team however this year, despite the brutal weather conditions, proved to be one of the best we have had so far. The team is growing and this year we have roped in the support of Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club who have complemented the years of experience the team has for this race”, explained Charlie Demanuele, Race Founder and Director.

“It is always great to see a mix of local and international athletes competing on home soil, and we hope that in 2019 this mix will grow further”.

Prizes were given out to the winners at the end of the Race and were presented by Race Founder and Director Charlie Demanuele as well as President of Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club, Ray Grech.

The Ocean Lava Malta team is grateful towards the support of Go Sports Malta, The Cyclist, emvigee pr & marketing, San Michel Water, Gatorade, Saracino’s Cafe.

The Team is also particularly appreciative of the support of Naxxar Local Council, Transport Malta and the team from the Motor Traffic Section of the Police Force led by Insp. Pierguido Saliba. Last but not least a big thank you goes to all the volunteers, marshalls and medical staff present on the day.

The next edition of the Ocean Lava Malta Triathlon will take place on Sunday 19th May 2019.
 
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