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Teenage twins shine on Waterfront Wellness 5K debut

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Joseph and Gabriella Cechini (File photograph by Mehluli Sibanda)

Twins Joseph and Gabriella Cechini enjoyed a memorable debut in the Waterfront Wellness 5K on Sunday.

The 13-year-old Somersfield Academy students punched well above their weight on the way to securing podium finishes in their respective divisions.

Joseph Cechini finished third overall in 18min 14sec, while sibling Gabriella was first among the women’s field and fifth overall in 19:15.

After recovering from their exertions, the promising athletes gave their performances glowing reviews.

“I thought I did pretty well,” an elated Joseph told The Royal Gazette.

“There were lots of fast people there and I improved a lot from last week [Bermuda Healthcare Sir Stanley Burgess 5K] against some of my associates who help me.

That was my fastest time and I am happy with it. It was really humid and the course was really hilly, but everything else was pretty good.”

Gabriella was also delighted with her display.

“It was fun and I was glad I could finish first, especially with the help of my coaches Steve Burgess and Ashley Couper,” she said.

“It was long and hot, but I enjoyed it. My time was a bit off my fastest but I quite enjoyed it. There were a couple of hills that were not my favourite, but I enjoyed the course and didn’t feel too bad.”

Coach and six-times Bermuda Day Half Marathon Derby women’s champion Couper, who coaches both twins, is delighted to see them reap the benefits from the hard work they have put into their training.

“This is awesome and I am so proud of them,” she said. “It’s so fantastic.

“They both come to my sessions and I am so glad for Gabriella who worked so hard. She is a very talented athlete.

“Her twin brother is amazing as well. He runs with me and they are just really nice people.”

Christopher Hands led the entire field across the line in 17:27, with Philip Woollins taking second in 17:48.

Christopher Hands (File photograph)

“I used today as a test run to gauge my recovery from a recent injury in preparation for May 24, and I'm quite happy with my overall performance,” Hands said.

“I must extend a huge shout out to Joseph Cechini for not only setting a brisk pace from the outset but also ensuring that I remained on the correct path along Canal Road.

“It's exceptionally impressive to witness such talent and dedication from someone as young as 13 producing remarkable splits.

“I also congratulate his sister, Gabriella, who won overall female with a very incredible performance.

“Additionally, thanks to Waterfront Wellness and all the dedicated volunteers for orchestrating such a spectacular event. And, of course, a Happy Mother’s Day to all who came out to support!”

Stepanka Sprincova finished runner-up in the women’s field in 19:55 and Teresa Ruiz third in 20:25.

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Published May 12, 2024 at 4:07 pm (Updated May 12, 2024 at 6:58 pm)

Teenage twins shine on Waterfront Wellness 5K debut

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