Sunday 27th May at the Cottonera sport complex the annual Malta Weightlifting open championsip was made a much tougher competition this year by being held in conjunction with an International meet which brought athletes from Italy, England, Spain and France. Both Maltese teams participating finished on top of the podium with a 1st and 3rd place finish.
Malta competed with two teams called VEYM and TASS. VEYM was made up of Vlad Baldacchino, Matthew Camilleri, Yazmin Zammit Stevens and Elisia Scicluna, while TASS was made up of Shaun Ciantar, Anton Micallef, Tenisihia Thorton and Shelby Mangion Vassallo.
VEYM had a strong start in the women’s group with Yazmin Zammit Stevens (-69kg) who out lifted her best ever total by 2 kilos, with a national record snatch of 82kg, clean and jerk of 100kg and a national record total of 182kg. Elisia Scicluna (-90kg), who is still slowly coming back from a minor injury, finished with a respectable finish with 75kg snatch and 97kg clean and jerk, totalling at 172kg.
The men’s part of the team continued with the same strong momentum with Matthew Camilleri (-85kg) who settled with a 107kg snatch and 136kg clean and jerk. Following a stellar performance at the Vladan Mihajlovic tournament only a week ago, Vlad Baldacchino broke his own national record from that meet with a 129kg snatch. He managed a clean and jerk of 155kg before closely missing his last attempt at 160kg. VEYM ended the competition with 1030 points, winning the top position ahead of IronFit Weightlifting from Sicily who finished in second with 1018 points. IronFit Weightlifting included European youth Gold Medalist, Giulia Miserandino, and multiple European Championships competitor, Alessandro Vinci. This accomplishment for Malta over the strong Sicilian team is a huge feat for Malta Weightlifting.
The second Maltese team, TASS, also finished with some strong lifts. Promising rookie, Shaun Ciantar (-77kg) ended with 92kg/120kg/212kg, while Anton Micallef (-94kg) finished with 108kg/128kg/236kg. The girls part of the team, both being youth athletes, performed excellently in the international setup. Up and rising star Tenishia Thornton (-44kg) is showing huge promise, finishing with 35kg in snatch and 51kg clean and jerk breaking 8 records in the process. Shelby Mangion Vassallo (-69kg) improved her best ever clean and jerk once again, with a 74kg and 58kg snatch. TASS surprised everyone when finishing with a strong 3rd place with 860 points, beating out the English team of Crystal Palace 782 points, and the Italian team, JOGGING Italia, 720 points.
Other awards given as part of the international meet were Best Female team, won by the English duo made up of Amber Sheppard and Sky Norris. Best Male team won by the Sicilian team made up of Alessandro Vinci and Francesco Zito. Best female lifter won by Guilia Miserandino and Best male lifter won by Isaac Jamal Shah from England.
The Malta Open also awarded Malta’s top lifters. Vlad Baldacchino finished as the best overall male lifter for the 1st time in his career. He was followed by Matthew Camilleri in 2nd, Anton Micallef in 3rd and Shaun Ciantar in 4th.
The girls youths and junior groups were dominated by Shelby Mangion Vassallo and Tenishia Thornton who finsihed in 1st and 2nd place respectively in both categories.
The women’s group was won by Yazmin Zammit Stevens for the 3rd year in a row, followed by Elisia Scicluna and once again Shelby Mangion Vassallo.