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Six Maltese at the Olympics

Team Malta for the Beijing Olympic Games will consist of six athletes from four disciplines: Athletics, Judo, Shooting and Swimming, the Maltese Olympics Committee said today.

The team will be led by Chef de Mission, Julian Pace Bonello.

The athletes will be Charlene Attard and Nicolai Portelli, Athletics; Marcon Bezzina, Judo; William Chetcuti, Shooting; Ryan Gambin and Madeleine Scerri, Swimming. Marcon Bezzina will be the flag bearer during the opening Cceremony. The MOC President and the Secretary General will also be present.

William Chetcuti also represented Malta at the Athens Olympic Games in double trap where he managed to make it to the barrage final and placed ninth.

Marcon Bezzina too made her debut at the Olympic Games in Athens 2004; Marcon had a tough opponent and was soon eliminated.

Ryan Gambin who recently moved to Malta from Australia, represented Malta for the first time this year at the European Swimming Championship, setting a number of national records and becoming Malta’s first swimmer to qualify for the Olympic Games with a 54.33secs in the 100m butterfly (qualifying B standard was 54.71secs); he is also Malta’s second person to qualify for the Olympic games, the first being Tanya Blake who made the qualifying time in the 800mtr and took part in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Madeleine Scerri is a Maltese swimmer residing in Australia. She represented Malta for the first time at the Games of the Small States of Europe, Monaco 2007 winning 3 Bronze medals in the 200mtr and 100mtr backstroke and in the 4x100mtr with the medley team.

Charlene Attard is the first Maltese woman to run under 12 seconds in the 100m sprint and holds the national records in the 200mtr as well as the 60m outdoors. She has represented Malta at the Games of the Small States of Europe, winning several medals. She has also represented Malta in the World Indoors, the last World Championships in Osaka and will participate in the European Cup being held in Slovakia.

Nicolai Portelli is Malta’s leading 400m athlete, unbeaten locally for the past 5 years over the same distance. Recently, he also claimed the national title in the 200m. He has represented Malta at the Small Nations Games.

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