Maltese sprinters flying

GO YOU FALCONS :smiley: :o Hope they enjoy themselves and get good experiences out of it. kk

THE sprinters chosen to (select, edit) represent Malta at the 11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Osaka, Japan (25 Aug to 2 Sep) are eagerly looking forward to the experience they’ll gain at their first major international competition.

Quite experienced at competing at junior level, this will be Charlene Attard’s first senior outdoor championships and, as is to be expected, she’s quite looking forward to the event.

“There’s no hiding that the Small Nations’ Games were very important for me and I worked very hard to do as well as I did,” said Attard, who finished second in the 100m and third in the 200m at June’s competition in Monaco.

“But this is also my first major outdoor international competition and it is quite exciting for me. To be able to run alongside such world famous athletes is quite an emotion.”

More experienced, although still relatively young, is the other Maltese representative Darren Gilford.

“These games are very important because they are like the Olympic Games,”said Gilford. “This is an opportunity to compete against the world. In this competition the level is very high and sometimes I’m enthralled with some performances.”

“However I will be there competing with them. I know my limitations, I am not a professional athlete and I cannot compare the support they get with mine.”

“Every competition is an opportunity to learn,” Gilford continued, “be it a minor competition or the World championships. It’s always a thrill to race against world class athletes but I try to focus on my race and give my best.”

“My target is to break my own national record (10.54) for the 100m. I know I can do it sometime or another. Although I am happy with my performance so far I know I can do much better. At the recent Small Nations Games I managed to win a silver medal. I must stress that winning requires many sacrifices, dedication and most importantly support.”

Taking part in the World Championships is important for the MAAA as an association even though they are realistic enough in their expectations.

“The World Championship is what the name indicates,” MAAA President Tony Chircop reflects.

“We do not expect them to proceed into the semi-finals. They will be against the world best here and no, I do not expect them to make miracles but I do expect them to register good times.”

Paul Grech for the IAAF