It was a day of record-breaking and gold medals for Maltese athletes competing at the EAP Sicily World Meet with no less than 14 medals obtained by the contingent, six of which were gold.
A total of 28 Maltese athletes took the trip up north to compete in the international meet, which was attended by athletes from Italy and other parts of the world.
Despite being the smallest island in Europe, Malta arrived as the largest foreign contingent at the event and left as one of the most successful, breaking records and bagging medals in the process.
Amongst the several spectacular performances of the day, Jeremy Zammit’s 7.14 metre jump was of particular notice with the athlete securing not only the gold medal in the long jump event, but also breaking the local age category record and placing amongst the best 10 leading jumps globally for his age group this year.
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Five other Maltese athletes also obtained gold medals including Martha Spiteri in the 400 metres, Monalisa Camilleri in the 1,500 metres, Graham Pellegrini in the 400 metres, Christian Chetcuti in the 800 metres and Rachela Pace in the long jump.
Maltese athletes also broke four event records in the senior category, adding to the impressive results of the day.
“Once again, our local athletes have done us incredibly proud. The results obtained in Catania were even more impressive considering that unlike athletes hailing from other countries, who were able to train normally in the past weeks, our athletes face a situation where their stadia and other training facilities are closed and most of the training has to be done completely alone,” said Athletics Malta President Andy Grech.
With a ban on organised sports in place for over a month now due to Covid-19 restrictions, local athletes have been greatly disadvantaged when it comes to preparation for international events. Despite numerous appeals by sporting organisations to allow athletes to train under normal conditions, health authorities have refused to budge.
“These results confirm the potential of Maltese sport and send the message that it is time to elevate it among the priorities of our country,” Grech said.
Malta plans to send a contingent up to the 2020 Summer Olympics, the details of whom will form part of the team will be revealed at a later stage.
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