Garmin Ocean Lava Malta 113k Tri crowns Slovenia’s Meden, Malta’s Pace winners in windy and challenging conditions

Garmin Ocean Lava Malta 113k Tri crowns Slovenia’s Meden, Malta’s Pace winners in windy and challenging conditions  

Rudolph Agius, Hannah Pace crowned National Middle Distance Champions

Strong winds coupled with a tough course is what welcomed over 140 athletes competing in the Garmin Ocean Lava Malta 113k Triathlon and National Championships which were held on the Bahar ic-Caghaq Coast road on Sunday 15th May.  

Fifty eight athletes, representing Slovenia, Italy, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Japan and of course Malta covered the whole distance of 1.9k swim, 90km cycle and 21km run. In addition to these a further eighty four athletes, making up twenty eight relay teams covered the distance. Relay Teams saw three athletes teaming up to undertake the full 113km distance together.  

Individual Distance

In the males segment, the race was dominated throughout by twenty two year old Slovenian Matija Meden. Meden kept a consistent lead throughout the race, although second placed, pro athlete Simon Brierley managed to close in on Meden on the bike, however the gap widened in the run, with Meden crossing the finish line with an overall time of   04:16:33. Brierley crossed the finish line in a time of 04:38:26. 

The fight for the third and last place on the podium initially proved to be a three horse race between 2014 winner David Galea and Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club team mates Rudolph Agius and Steve Chetcuti. From the three, Agius was the first out of the water, however Chetcuti caught up on the bike segment, to enter transition two seconds before Agius. From then on it was a battle between Agius and Chetcuti who exited transition to lead on the run. Agius showed considerable determination to overtake Chetcuti and cross the finish line in a time of 04:39:59 thus clinching third place and the National title.  Galea had to settle for overall fifth place.

Commenting after the Race, Agius expressed his satisfaction with the result, especially in view of his forthcoming Ironman race in Barcelona which will be held in the coming weekend.

In the females’ category, Pembroke Athleta’s Hannah Pace won the title in a time of 05:05:05. Emerging from the water in second place just after male winner Matija Meden, Pace completed the hilly bike course in a time of 2 hours 49 minutes, finishing in twelfth place overall. Pace maintained this position till the very end when she completed the 21km run in 1:44:32 to win the females’ race and claim national title. “This has been one of the most challenging races in this distance so far, the course was already tough, having to contend with the windy conditions made it harsher”, observed Pace “

Second place on the podium was secured by Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club’s Suzanne Farrugia. Farrugia has a number of such races under her belt and has been performing consistently. UK triathlete Mandy Draper, who returned to race in Malta for the second time, claimed third place on the podium.

Relay Teams

Throughout the years relay teams were considered to be the breeding grounds of future multisport athletes and did not offer a highly competitive environment. With a mix of some of the best swimmers, cyclists, runners and triathletes competing in this segment, this year was going to be a different story, with places for the podium being fought out with the same ardour and determination as any other race.

With the likes of triathletes such as Margaret Seguna, last years’ female champion currently unable to compete in full distance due to injury, National Triathlon champion Keith Galea, Michelle Vella Wood, cycling time trial champion Wayne Spiteri, Mark Bonnici (cycling), Gerry Said, Jack Schiavone, Jonathan Balzan (Running) Josann Attard Pulis, Julian Borg, Neil Agius (Swimming), Luke Camilleri Cuschieri were all on the starting line of the relay team segment.

The Relay Teams podium consisted of the following teams.

First Place - Team Go & Fun – Margaret Seguna (swim) Wayne Spiteri (cycle) Jonathan Balzan (run)

Spiteri and Balzan clocked the fastest athletes in their respective disciplines

Second Place - Team Two & a Half Men – Shaun Galea (Swim), Mark Bonnici (cycle) Julian Borg (Run)

Third Place - Team Carrera Garmin – Jean Claude Cutajar (Swim), Steve Sciberras (Cycle), Rodney Cassar (Run)

Fastest Swimmer trophy went to Bernard Sant. 

“We are very satisfied with the outcome of this year’s edition.  We have been backed up by a strong organizing team, whose members understand the needs of athletes in these races, naturally there is always room for improvement and each year is a learning curve” said Charlie Demanuele, Race organiser and Director. “We are particularly grateful to the authorities for their support towards this race in particular the Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport, Hon. Chris Agius, Transport Malta, Naxxar, Pembroke and Swieqi local councils and the Malta Police Force for their sterling work especially on race day to ensure the safety of our athletes. Naturally this race would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. ”

The Race, which consisted of a 1.9km swim, a 90km cycle and a 21km route was held in Bahar ic-Caghaq. Apart from enabling the race to have the right conditions for the distances involved, it also provided a great location to watch the goings on of the race.

 

The Federation is glad that this race is growing and improving with each edition. The hard work the team puts into this race is very evident, these sentiments were echoed by the majority of athletes after the race”, commented Cyprian Dalli, President of the Malta Triathlon Federation. “We are fully supportive of the endeavours of the organisers and are pleased to have designated this race, for a second year running, as a National Championship race. We hope that this race keeps on growing and look forward to working together for the benefit of the sport of triathlon and its development on our shores”.

 

The Garmin Ocean Lava Malta 113k Triathlon was supported by Garmin (Medcomms Malta Ltd), Go & Fun Green Energy Drink, Sancture Sportifs, Saracino Café, The Cyclist (San Gwann), emvigee pr & marketing, Urban Jungle House of Sport,  Perskindol, Mochika and the Malta Tourism Authority.

 

www.oceanlavamalta.com

 

2016 Garmin Ocean Lava Male Winners - (L) to (R) 2nd Place - Simon Brieley, 1st Place - Matija Meden, 3rd Place - Rudolph Agius. 

Rudolph Agius crowned Malta National 113km Champion

Photo Credit: Angie Conti

 

 

2016 Garmin Ocean Lava Female Winners - (L) to (R) 2nd Place - Suzanne Farrugia, 1st Place - Hannah Pace, 3rd Place - Mandy Draper

Hannah Pace crowned Malta National 113km Champion

Photo Credit: Angie Conti