National Lottery plc and the Malta Sports Journalists Association (MSJA) are pleased to announce that Lisa Marie Bezzina won the fourth IZIBET Elite Athlete Award, covering the period November – December 2023.

Lisa Marie Bezzina obtained her fifth success at the Pisa Half Marathon held on Sunday 17th December 2023. She crossed the finish line in first place in one hour, 21 minutes and 44seconds, 18 seconds ahead of Brazilian runner Jocasta Oliboni Da Luz. For Bezzina this was her new seasonal best.

“Celebrating and recognizing the achievements of athletes like Lisa Marie Bezzina is the essence of the IZIBET Elite Athlete award,” commented Franco De Gabriele – Chief Commercial Officer of the IZI Group. “The creation of this award together with the Malta Sports Journalists Association was purposely done to recognise the determination and efforts of athletes like Lisa Marie. Our aim is to further the culture of excellence in sports, a culture that is Lisa Marie embraces in her day-to-day efforts in her sport.”

Malta SJA President Sandro Micallef said: “I am extremely satisfied that Lisa Marie Bezzina won this award as she is a real Maltese Elite Athlete who can be considered as a role model especially for her dedication and perseverance in her training. Her sacrifices are recognised not only for her success in the Pisa’s Half Marathon but in other local and international competitions.”

The IZIBET Elite Athlete Award is aimed at recognising exceptional performances by local athletes and is awarded every two months, covering the periods January–February, March-April, May-June, July–August, September-October, and November–December.

A selection board composed of sports journalists and sports observers is responsible for evaluating the athlete’s achievements during the designated review periods, ensuring a fair and thorough assessment process.

In the meantime, the official website of the Malta Sports Journalists Association provides the rules and regulations governing the award.

Photo caption: James Morgan, Brand Manager at IZI Group plc presenting the IZIBET Elite Athlete Award for November-December 2023 to Lisa Marie Bezzina together with Sandro Micallef, President of the Malta Sports Journalists Association.