The annual European Union Cup, held in Malta for this year’s edition, saw Europe’s leading U15, U17, and U20 weightlifting athletes come together for a spectacular showing.
The competition, held over the past weekend, saw athletes from 12 different European teams; namely Malta, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary; France, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.
The first competition to take place was the men’s U15 with Italy’s Gabrielle La Barbera finishing in 1st place with 313 points, followed by Poland’s Dawid Lisiak with 277 points and Daniel Liste Martin from Spain with 270 points. Malta’s Rylee Borg finished in 6th place in this group with a personal best snatch of 85kg, clean and jerk at 100kg and 247 points.
The U15 girls saw two Maltese girls lifting, 13-year-old Kim Camilleri Lagana and 14-year-old Kaya Inguanez. Kim finished in 7th place overall with personal bests across the board. She managed a 40kg snatch and 50kg clean and jerk, both being new national records and a qualifying total for next month’s European Youth Championships set to take place in Poland. Kaya finished in 10th place overall with 140 points. This group was won by Italy’s Greta De Riso (227points), followed by Spain’s Lucia Gonzales (211points) and French lifter Sara Iafrate (211points) 13-year-old Aaliyah Gatt, who lifted with an older category for the sake of the team competition managed a total 145 points.
The following day started with the men’s U17 group where Maltese lifter Nikolai Muscat managed a snatch at 66kg and clean and jerk of 77kg which placed him in 12th place overall. The U17 boy’s group was won by Italy’s Jacopo Falsinotti (344points) followed by Poland’s Michal Jaworski (343.2 points) and Spanish lifter Kilian Gallart (338.2 points)
The female U17 group was won by polish lifter Monika Marach (256poonts) followed by Belgian lifter Annelien Vandenabeele (238points) and French lifter Maelyn Michel (221.1points)
Maltese lifter Luke Treebyward was the last of the local male lifters to compete in the Men’s U20 group. Luke managed a total of 192.3 points which placed him in 8th place in this group. The U20 was won by Makariy Kochetov from France (349points) followed by Patryk Baranski (342points) and Frantisek Poland from Czech republic (337points)
Tenishia Thornton was the last of the female athletes to participate. The world youth silver medalist from last year has been dealing with some knee issues related to growing pains in the last few weeks which lead to a different type of performance than we are used to seeing from her. She finished with a safe 63kg snatch and 75kg clean and jerk, just enough to give her team 203 points. She also finished in 10th place in this group which is an older age category for her. This group was won by Belgian lifter Nina Sterch who finished with a whopping 295 points, followed by Italian lifter Viola Valoggia (254 points) and Polish lifter Maria Karolak (232 points)
Team malta finished in 9th place overall in the team ranking with 1106.8 points, surpassing the teams from Austria. Slovenia and Croatia.
The overall best team was won by Italy who scored 1677 points followed by team Poland (1643 points) and Czech Republik (1506 points)
This competition was a huge challenge given the new restrictions in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, the competition went smoothly will all rules and regulations being fully respected by all participating athletes and officials.