Malta’s strongest keeps getting stronger! Spectacular results from Yazmin Zammit Stevens, Malta’s leading weightlifter, at the Mediterranean Games in Tarragona this week.
The 25 year old competed in the 69kg category alongside some of the worlds current leading lifters. The field included the Olympic bronze medallist from Rio, Sara Ahmed (EGY) and Multiple European Championships Medallist Giorgia Bordignon (ITA).
Despite the extreme high level, Zammit Stevens stepped up for the challenge and finished in 5th place in the Snatch and 6th in the Clean and Jerk breaking her previous national records 4 times in the process.
In the Snatch part of the event she went with 77kg, 80kg and a misfortunate 83kg which was ruled a no lift due to a slight press out on the right elbow. She then went on to open with her previous national record clean and jerk at 100kg followed by 103kg and finishing with 105kg, a whopping 5kg improvement over her previous best. The 103kg and 105kg lifts were both national record lifts, also breaking two total national records at 183kg and 185kg along the way.
Zammit Stevens’ success in Tarragona comes straight after she finished a 3 week training camp program at the Olympic Centre in Rome where she trained up to 4 times a day with the Italian National team. Both the athlete and her coach have spoken about the extreme sacrifices that have had to be made in order to step up to the challenge at the Games.
This meet marks Yazmins 6th international appearance this year alone. Her biggest competition prior to the Mediterranean Games was the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast only 2 months ago where she finished with 174kg in the 63kg category. Despite the difference in body weight category, pound for pound, she improved her results since then by a total of 3 sinclair points. And in between both Games, she won silver with her team at the Small nations in Iceland, a gold medal for her performance in Serbia and a Gold medal with her team in the Malta International tournament. Safe to say Zammit Stevens has had a very successful year thus far.
Jesmond Caruana, Yazmins coach, accompanied her at these Games and was extremely pleased with the results obtained. Caruana, who is also the President of the Malta Weightlifting Association
The weightliftings were also accompanied by Gayle Caruana, who was chosen by the International Weightlifting Federation to be a technical official at these Games.
The athlete will start again with a new preparatory program in hopes to compete in this year’s World Weightlifting Championships which would be the first time any Maltese athlete appeared on the World Weightlifting Stage.
Both athlete and coach credit the Malta Olympic Committee for the opportunity, the Malta Weightlifting Federation for it’s constant support, as well as SportMalta for their help during preparation.