The Malta Weightlifting Association have just hosted their second ranking qualification event which was staged at the Cottonera Sports Complex.
The competition, an ideal preparation for the European Small Nations Tournament in San Marino next month, was split in four classes.
In the U-13 cadets, a good number of lifters produced excellent efforts, showcasing a remarkable improvement in technique and quality among the juniors within the association’s fold.
Blake Vassallo performed remarkably, completing all his six attempts successfully and totalling 78kg. Shardon Cassar was the runner-up ahead of Rylee Borg.
In the girls’ section, Amy Victoria Zammit also did well to negotiate all her six lifts.
Zammit lifted a total of 49kg to finish ahead of Alexia Guiga and Haley Buttigieg.
Owen Bugeja and Kieran Mifsud were the ones who showed most talent in the U-17 category.
In fact, Bugeja set three national records in the -94kg class while amassing a total of 166kgs.
Bugeja’s efforts were only bettered by the impressive Mifsud who managed 180kg in total and a score of 212 points.
Matthew Grech was third in this contest on 188 points.
In the U-17 division for girls, Nicole Gatt was again in fine form. She established an array of new national records on her way to winning the -58kg category.
Gatt lifted a total of 122kg to score 181 points. For her, this result was a huge morale-booster ahead of the European Youth Championships in Poland in a few weeks’ time.
Trailing behind Gatt was Ivana Micallef with 113 points and Sarah Grixti, 100. Newcomer Mariah Zammit was fourth, five points behind Grixti in the overall U-17 classification.
Gatt’s efforts also secured her overall victory in the women’s Open category. Jessica Ghigo (176) was second and Krista Camilleri (140) third.
The men’s Open developed into a three-way tussle for the honours involving Noel Coleiro, Kyle Micallef and Rodmar Pulis.
In the end, Pulis secured first place when compiling 274 points in total. He finished top of the classification in both junior and senior competitions.
Veteran Coleiro, who lifted 232kg for a 271 points total, had to settle for second with Micallef third after a lift of 223kg had earned him 266 points.