Eighteen-year-old swimmer Mya Azzopardi has been declared the winner of the Atlas Youth Athlete of the Month for the month of March.

The decision to present Azzopardi with this accolade follows her outstanding performance in the recently held International Turkcell competitions hosted by the Turkish Swimming Federation.

Her performances saw her set national records in the long course 200m freestyle event. Azzopardi recorded a time of 2:06.48, improving her own accomplishment of 2:06.76 which she established in Kazan, Russia in the LEN European Junior Championships in 2019.

Following this achievement, Azzopardi went on to establish another three new national records in the 400m and 100m individual medley as well as the 400m freestyle short course events.

In the 400m individual medley, Azzopardi’s time of 4:57.75 surpassed by quite a margin the previous national record established in Dubai in 2016 by Francesca Falzon Young. The previous time stood at 5:16.36.  In the 100m individual medley, Azzopardi finished her swim with a time of 1:05.54, improving her own record, set in 2017 in Zagreb by 0.22 milliseconds. Azzopardi added another accolade to her tally when she improved her previously established record in the 400m freestyle event, clocking a time of 4:21:37.  Her previous record, established in January 2020 in Rome stood at 4:23.88.

Azzopardi attended a high-altitude training camp in Erzurum, Turkey accompanied by National Team Coach Artem Goncharenko in preparation for the 2023 Games of the Small States of Europe in Malta.

The trophy for the March 2021 Atlas Youth Athlete of the month together with the sports apparel voucher combined with this award will be presented in the coming weeks as Azzopardi is currently based abroad, where she continues to focus on her training.

This is the second year that Atlas Insurance is collaborating with the Malta Sports Journalists Association to reward young athletes who distinguish themselves and are Malta’s up and coming future stars.  2021 winners include Kayden Lagana (Tenpin Bowling) – January and Francesca Curmi (Tennis) – February.

This award has now established itself within the sporting community and whilst the adjudicating panel takes note of all the youths’ achievements, local sport associations and federations are welcome to send in their nominations for consideration if they feel that any of their under-21 athletes have distinguished themselves during that particular month. Nominations for this award may be sent on email info@maltasportsjournalists.com.

The rules and regulations of this monthly award can be viewed on the website www.maltasportsjournalists.com.