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Charlotte Wingfield set for the challenge

Charlotte Wingfield (right) running ahead of Rachel Fitz at Marsa. Photo: Wally GaleaCharlotte Wingfield (right) running ahead of Rachel Fitz at Marsa. Photo: Wally Galea

Charlotte Wingfield took little time to establish herself as the new rising star in Maltese track and field as the 20-year-old Cardiff-based sprinter already has her named inked in the record books despite only linking up with Athletics Malta a few months back.

She started off by matching the 60 metres indoor national mark of 7.60 at the Welsh Championships and a few weeks later she lowered the 200 metres Maltese indoor record when clocking 24.73 seconds at the British University Championships which were held in Sheffield.

On May 5, Wingfield set a new national mark in the 100 metres when running 11.79 seconds in Bedford. But she was not finished yet as one week later she further improved that milestone when clocking 11.73 on her way to victory in the National Champion-ships at Marsa.

So, it came as no surprise that Wingfield was named in the track and field selection for the Iceland GSSE where she will be leading our medal charge in the short sprints.

“I’m really pleased with how things have panned out this year,” Wingfield told Times of Malta.

“The first indication that this season was set to be a very good one came when I achieved the MQS in the 100m, clocking 11.96 in Arizona... my first race in the US. That further fuelled my motivation and I was over the moon when a few weeks later I ran 11.79 back in the UK.

“I entered the Maltese nationals without great aspirations but I still wanted to win medals.

“So, to finish the 100 race and being told that I ran 11.73 was simply mind blowing. I was lost for words as it was not easy to make it a double and clock a record.”

Wingfield said she had first approached Athletics Malta to represent the country of her father’s origin last summer.

Opportunities

“My dad is Maltese and I realised that running for Malta would open up more opportunities for me,” the Cardiff Met University student reckoned.

“I asked my cousin for a contact and I then wrote to Edwin Attard, the MAAA president, and from then communication between us never stopped.

“Then, two weeks ago, I got my Maltese passport which earned me dual citizenship.

“This means that now I can represent Malta in all big meets including the Olympics and the World Championships.”

The Iceland Games will be Wingfield’s baptism of fire in a major event and although her efforts this season inevitably paint her as medal contender, in Reykjavik she prefers to keep her expectations in check.

“The GSSE is a big challenge but I know how to deal with it,” she said.

“Still, I’m going there with intentions of winning a medal and that would be a big achievement for me. I’m cautious but very excited to be on a bigger stage.

“I took a look at the start lists and going through seasons’ best times I realised that I am among the fastest. But, we know that best times don’t count as the ones performing better on the day get the awards.

“Iceland have two fast girls so it’s going to be a huge test for me as this is my first big occasion.

“However, I am in the best physical condition and, hopefully, that will set me up to a fruitful experience in Iceland.”

Wingfield has other goals for the season.

“My ultimate objective for 2015 is to make the final of the European U-23 Championships which will be held in Estonia in July.

“That would be an ideal way to cap off what I hope will be a perfect year for me.”

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