Birkirkara St Joseph Sports Club hosted its triathlon season opener in Salina on Sunday morning, when it hosted the Go&Fun BSJ Sprint Triathlon race.
The race hosted a mix of experienced triathletes and newcomers which provided a thrilling race.
The first surprise of the morning was Maya Schembri Rodgers who registered the fastest swim of the day, covering the 750m swim in 11 mins 13 seconds.
Schembri Rodgers was ahead of Ryan Muscat, Nicholas Sammut and Keith Galea.
First on the bike course was Muscat. From then battle of wits ensued. Muscat’s lead ahead of Galea was kept until the second half of the second lap of the 20km course, when Galea narrowed to gap to eventually overtake Muscat. Places were switched again, however Galea’s determined pace saw him enter the transition ahead of Muscat.
Muscat took the lead on the run but Galea was hot on his heels there was no room for complacency. A determined push from Galea saw him narrowing the gap, with Galea overtaking Muscat. After reaching the 2.5km mark, Galea kept forging ahead to take the win for the day, nonetheless it was a notable performance for the two who kept challenging each other throughout.
In the meantime, behind them another battle was ensuing between Josef Bonavia and Josef Azzopardi. Bonavia was ahead of Azzopardi as they exited for the 5km run, however in another solid performance by Azzopardi, the kept narrowing the gap before edging Bonavia to third place.
The females’ category saw Schembri Rodgers dominate the swim segment. Although first out of the water, a more experienced Krista Kuusjiarvi delivered a strong show on the bike segment enabling her to take the lead and set the pace for the rest of the race. Kuusijarvi won the race in 1:09:08. She was followed by Schembri Rodgers and Lindsey Zammit who took the podium for the day.
Club President Ray Grech presented the trophies to the top three males and females immediately after the race.
In the meantime, the Club also hosted a duathlon for youths, which saw three categories taking place.
The categories saw young athletes between the ages of nine to 15 take part in various distances. Category 1 saw the youngest athletes taking part.
The first three athletes to finish were Oliver Buccheri, Kruiven Farrugia and Luca Azzopardi. Category 2, which saw the largest participation saw Neil Cassar, Leo Buccheri and Jake Refalo finish first overall. In the same Category three girls took part, Nina Debono Curmi, Katie Vella Wood and Kim Micallef Cann finished in this order. In Category 3, Liam Daly finished first, followed by Aiden Muscat and Zija Fuji – who was the first girl to finish. Third male was Nathan Pace. The other two girls competing in this category were Julia Schembri and Kaya Lee Agius.
The next multisport event hosted by Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club will be an Olympic Distance Triathlon held on the 14th May, in Salina at 0730hrs.
Registration is open, and triathletes wishing to take part are to register online by not later than Thursday 11th May. – https://bsj.mt/event/2023-bsj-olympic-triathlon-race-1/
The Club would like to thank Go&Fun for supporting the series as well as the Naxxar District Police, Transport Malta, the Eastern Regional Council, Naxxar Local Council for their assistance in hosting the event.
Go & Fun BSJ Sprint Triathlon – Race 1 Results
Keith Galea (Birkirkara St. Joseph)
Krista Kuusijarvi (Birkirkara St. Joseph)
Ryan Muscat (TriGozo)
Maya Schembri Rodgers (Agones SFC)
Josef Azzopardi (TriGozo)
Lindsey Zammit (St. Patrick’s AC)