For a second consecutive Olympic Games, the MWA has had a representative competing as part of the tripartite commission qualification process. This time, Yasmin Zammit Stevens was the first female competition for weightlifting at the Olympic Games.
Yasmin competed in the 64kg weight category where she finished with 1 successful attempt in the snatch portion of the event at 84kg and a national record attempt of 105kg in the clean and jerk. The usually visually fearless athlete seemed to have been effected by the grandness of these Games as she seemed more nervous than her usual self. However, regardless she managed to come through with a respectable performance on the biggest stage in the world. Out of the 14 athletes that made the final event on the day, Yasmin ranked 13th ahead of the athlete from Tunisia.
This result comes from 5 years of continuous work towards this one goal together with her coach, Jesmond Caruana. The two have worked together since the beginning of her career when she started weightlifting in 2016. Zammit stevens has had to go through the Olympic Qualification process which started in 2018, and included major events like the World Championships and European Championships.
This was also Jesmond’s 5th time participating in an Olympic Games, where he has been involved as both coach and technical official in previous years.
Zammit Stevens successful finish in the Tokyo 2020 Games also brings Malta Weightlifting first official result on the ranking at the Games. Unfortunately, Micallef had missed all snatch attempts and therefore failed to post a total at the Games in Rio in 2016.
This result is another great indication of the hard work the MWA is doing and shows the direction this sport is heading into on our island. The success of the senior and now veteran athlete, Zammit Stevens, alongside the large youth team currently training in the national team gym, show promise for even bigger things to come in the future.