Team Malta started its Commonwealth Games commitments earlier on Saturday when athletes competed in Triathlon, Squash, and Lawn Bowls.
In Squash, Lijana Sultana won a thrilling game to progress to the next round of competition. Sultana’s performance showed determination when, playing against Charlotte Knaggs (Trinidad and Tobago), she lost the first set 11-9, but fought back to win the next to sets, with identical scores of 11-3. The fourth set was won by Knaggs (11-7). A nail-biting final set was won by Sultana with a score of 12-10. Fifteen-year-old Sultana who is making her Commonwealth Games debut will now play against Canada’s Hollie Naughton.
The Maltese Derby was won by Niall Engerer who used his experience to stave off attempts from fellow Games debutant Kijan Sultana. Engerer won the opening two games, 11-7 and 15-13. However, Sultana took the third set 11-9. An evenly balance fourth set saw Engerer taking the better of Sultana to win the Game 3-1. Engerer now faces New Zealand and World number two player Paul Coll.
Also competing today were triathletes Keith Galea and Danica Bonello Spiteri. Galea was in action first and completed the 750 metres swim in ten minutes and 37 seconds. The 20km cycling leg was completed in 30.19 minutes, whilst the 5km was run in 19.05. Galea’s time of 1hour 1 minute and 40 seconds saw him finish in 31st place in a field of 44 triathletes.
Bonello Spiteri was in action in the afternoon. She finished the swim in a time of 11 minutes 16 seconds, whilst the bike leg was completed in 33 minutes 4 seconds before proceeding to the 5km run which she finished in 21 minutes 21 seconds. Bonello Spiteri completed the race in a time of 1:07.21 finishing in 25th place out of 33 triathletes.
Triathlon Gold Medals went to Britain’s Alex Yee ( 50 minutes and 34 seconds) and Bermudian Flora Duffy (55 minutes, 25 seconds).
The remaining Maltese athletes to compete today were Lawn Bowls’ Triples, Peter Ellul, Troy Lorimer, and Shaun Parnis. Their first outing resulted in a 28-6 defeat to Scotland but made up for the disappointment in their game against New Zealand which was won with a score of 22-12.
Malta’s first games in the Women’s Fours events did not have the desired outcome when Malta lost to Northern Ireland (10-16) and also lost to Norfolk Island (12-16).
The Women’s team gets back into action on Saturday afternoon when they play against Malaysia. Next to spring into action will be Flag Bearer and weightlifter Tenishia Thornton who will compete in the Women’s 59kg event on Sunday.