The Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club Open Water Swimming Championships came to a close last week when the sixth and final race of the series was held at Salina.
The Championships consisted of five 2km swims and a final race of 4kms and the overall and age-group winners in the male and female categories were swimmers with the best accumulated times in five (including the 4km swim) of the six races. The races also served as qualifiers for swimmers wanting to take part in the Malta-Gozo-Malta and Gozo-Malta Open Water Swimming Competitions organised by the Club. Two hundred and seventy-eight swimmers took part in these championships, of whom two hundred and thirteen were males and sixty-five were females.
With 2015 champion Neil Agius out of the fray, having only competed in one of the races, the males’ championship title was up for grabs. From the onset it was apparent that Dylan Cachia was going to be a worthy contender for the honours, however his aim for a third win was thwarted by newcomer Kyle Buhagiar who broke Cachia’s unbeaten run. Buhagiar went on to win also the fourth race. Cachia performed well in the subsequent races but top place on the podium eluded him when he was beaten by Russian swimmer Sergey Alchebaev who pipped him to the place in both the fifth and sixth races. Nevertheless Cachia’s consistent performance was sufficient for him to claim the 2016 Championship title. Second placed was Richard Zerafa and third on the podium was Andrew Sultana.
No surprises or upsets were registered in the females’ category when Sarah Demicoli, winner of the 2015 Championship, once again claimed the title winning all of the five races she competed in. Second placed was Margaret Seguna who had a very positive performance throughout with time improvements registered in all 2km races. Third place was taken up by Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club Swimming Head Coach and evergreen veteran swimmer Isabelle Zarb.
The Age Group winners in these championships were also announced
Masters A Roberto Demicoli
Masters B Paul Privitera / Sandra Schembri
Masters C Joseph Zerafa Boffa
Masters D Marian Belsten
“This year was another record year for the Club, the sport is growing and as well as seeing consistent performances from seasoned swimmers, we are also seeing some fresh talent leaving their mark in the Championships,” observed Euchar Camilleri, Secretary General, Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club. “Naturally we do not sleep on our success, each year is a learning curve and from it we take the lessons learnt and implement improvements for the forthcoming year as we want to ensure a great race experience to the hundreds of swimmers that take part in our races. The organisers have also to contend with the setting up of the race venues, which have now become larger due to the unprecedented number of swimmers. These are events sanctioned by the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta, which demands the proper standards to be reached in these championships”.
The Club’s next swimming commitment is the annual Malta-Gozo-Malta and Gozo-Malta Open Water Swimming Championships which will take place on Saturday 27th August. A Race Briefing session for swimmers who have qualified for this event will take place on Tuesday 23rd August at 19:00hrs at Mosta Local Council. More information on the Club’s activities can be found on www.bkarastjoseph.com
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