2016/17 sea­son opens with strong per­for­mances by Sirens ASC

Malta Independent - - SPORT - Caro­line Furminger

Fur­ther suc­cess achieved by Sirens ASC swim­mers at 30th Oc­to­ber Age Group time tri­als at Tal -Qroqq completed an ex­cel­lent month for the club fol­low­ing su­perb per­for­mances at a Bri­tish short course meet in Buck­ing­hamshire.

Twenty one squad mem­bers trav­elled to High Wy­combe in the UK re­cently to take part in the dis­trict’s In­au­gu­ral Short Course Premier Meet, where Sirens ath­letes bat­tled against lead­ing clubs from South-East Eng­land.

Two days of in­ten­sive competition re­sulted in re­peated podium ap­pear­ances for Sirens who col­lected six gold, ten sil­ver and two bronze medals as well as achiev­ing a 95% per­sonal best hit rate. Dom­i­nat­ing his age group, 14 year old Kyle Buha­giar won gold medals for his 50m free, 50m fly, 100m and 200m free and 200m IM, scor­ing four out of five pb’s.

An­drea Mal­lia pow­ered home to win a stun­ning gold for his 200m breast­stroke in a new time of 2.37.03, fol­lowed shortly af­ter­wards with a sil­ver for his 100m breast­stroke. Catch­ing the medal bug, Rudi Spiteri claimed four sil­ver medals and four pb’s for his 50m and 100m freestyle, 50m fly and 100m IM and Nick Sam­mut cel­e­brated with a bronze medal for an ex­cel­lent 50m fly.

Not to be out­done, the girls were also in on the ac­tion with Alexan­dra McGonigle achiev­ing five pb’s and five sil­ver medals for her 50m and 100m freestyle, and 50m, 100m and 200m breast­stroke and Jes­sica Pow­ell won bronze for her 50m free, touch­ing the wall in 29.14.

Al­though younger swim­mers were un­able to com­pete for medals, ex­cel­lent pb’s were achieved nonethe­less. Emily Grech Carr shaved seven sec­onds from her 200m freestyle fin­ish­ing in 2.31.21, Ju­lia Mi­callef swam her 100m free in a new time of 1.11.76, Sasha Gatt im­proved her 50m breast­stroke by two sec­onds, fin­ish­ing in 43.34 and Ha­ley Paw­ley Neame swiped five sec­onds off her 100m breast­stroke, gain­ing a new per­sonal best of 1.31.61.

‘This was an im­por­tant meet and the whole squad put in ex­cel­lent swims,’ said head coach, Craig Gib­bons. ‘It’s im­pres­sive that even our younger swim­mers were not fazed by the strength and depth of competition and de­liv­ered bril­liant per­for­mances, of­ten chas­ing down age group and na­tional records.’ He added: ‘By the end of the meet, we were not an un­known club from a small is­land - Bri­tish coaches and com­peti­tors alike were def­i­nitely pay­ing at­ten­tion and I’m ex­tremely proud.’

A to­tal of 21 squad mem­bers trav­elled to High Wy­combe

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