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TRIATHLON | Unbeaten Harding seals off Sprint Triathlon Debut with Championship title

23rd Sep 2021

In: Triathlon, Multisport Post By: Maria

 

Lara Buttigieg takes home the female title.

Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club hosted the final race of the Go & Fun BSJ Sprint Triathlon Series in Salina on Sunday. The fourth race of the summer doubled up as the Sprint Triathlon National Championships, under the auspices of the Malta Triathlon Federation.

If the past races this year were anything to go by with, then Julian Harding – who made his debut in this sport this summer, was the clear favourite having emerged unbeaten with a National Record under his belt.  His years of international swimming competition were evident as he effortlessly led the way in the 750m swim and entered into the bike transition with one minute thirty-second gap over Keith Galea.  Onto the 20km bike segment, Harding continued to widen the gap to gain over a three-minute advantage over Galea.  Harding proceeded onto the run in the knowledge that a championship title, barring any unforeseen episode, was getting closer.  Harding crossed the finish line after 58 minutes and 55 seconds of racing to win his first National Sprint Triathlon Championship title.

Julian

Meanwhile, Galea continued with a strong and steady run determined to make it to the final podium in second place.  Following him was Jesrit Camilleri, whose strong run enabled him to climb up the ranks and finish in third place.

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National Championships Males' Podium (Left to Right) - Keith Galea (2nd), Julian Harding (1st), Jesrit Camilleri (3rd) 

No major upsets were expected in the female category with Lara Buttigieg being marked as the favourite to win. Buttigieg was the first female out of the water with Pia Zammit following her ten seconds later.  A slightly faster transition by Zammit saw her narrow the gap as she exited on the bike course.  Nevertheless, Buttigieg maintained her lead throughout and to be the first female finisher, winning the title in the process.  Meanwhile, Krista Kuusijarvi's bike performance enabled her to overtake Zammit who had to settle for third place on the winners' podium. 

Go&Fun BSJ Sprint Triathlon Series Trophies were presented to the winners by Club Official Mr. Joseph Farrugia, whilst the National Championships proceedings were presided by Federation President, Dr. John Vella.

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National Championships Ladies' Podium (Left to Right) - Pia Zammit (2nd), Lara Buttigieg (1st), Denise Cortis (3rd) 

"This year's Sprint Triathlon Series proved to be interesting and produced several surprises.  Julian Harding provided the biggest surprise of the season having reigned supreme throughout.  It was good to see a balanced mix of experienced and relatively new triathletes who made our races very interesting" commented Euchar Camilleri, Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club Secretary General.

Camilleri concluded by thanking all those involved, particularly race sponsors  Go&Fun Green Energy Drink Malta, Transport Malta,  Naxxar Local Council, Birkirkara, and Naxxar Police district offices.

Go&Fun Sprint Triathlon Sprint National Championships Results

 

Overall

Males

Females

1st

Julian Harding (58:55)

Lara Buttigieg (1:08:42)

2nd

Keith Galea (1:04:18)

Pia Zammit (1:14:38)

3rd

Jesrit Camilleri (1:05:43)

Denise Cortis (1:28.55)

 

Age Group

Males

Females

Under 23

Sean Michael Darmanin (1:07:08)

n/a

40 – 49

Kristjan Briffa (1:09:58)

n/a

50-59

Kevin Muscat (1:09:37)

n/a

60+

Nicky Farrugia (1:15:34)

Marian Belsten (1:43:26)

 

Go&Fun Sprint Triathlon Series Overall Results

Results based on the completion of all FOUR races

 

Overall

Males

Females

1st

Julian Harding

Pia Zammit

2nd

Jesrit Camilleri

Denise Cortis

3rd

Christopher Fenech

n/a

 

Age Group

Males

Females

Under 23

Julian James Asciak

n/a

40 – 49

Andrea Agius

n/a

50-59

Kevin Muscat

n/a