The first Junior and Senior Weightlifting event of 2023 took place over the weekend at the Cottonera Sports Complex, and saw several familiar faces classify themselves in the top positions as they start off the busy year of competitions.
Youth World Champion, Tenishia Thornton, has now officially moved up to a Junior athlete and competed in a new weight category after weighing in very light in the 64kg class. The 17-year-old had a historic year last year when she won the Youth World and Youth European Championships amongst several other honourable titles. During the competition this previous weekend, she showed that she has no intentions of slowing down this success in 2023. She went on to snatch 85kg and clean and jerk 105kg, with her 190kg being a new Senior National Record in the 64kg weight class.
This competition also saw the return of Yasmin Zammit Stevens after stepping away from the competition floor since the Commonwealth Games last summer. She managed a 177kg total in the 71kg weight category. Luana Vella finished in third position for the female category with a 60kg snatch and 74kg clean and jerk weigh in just over 55 to compete in the 59kg class.
Junior athlete Rheanna Briffa (-55kg) finished with a 49kg snatch and 71kg clean and jerk which translated to the second best junior result of the day following Thotnon. While the 3rd junior ranked athlete, Mariah Grima (-55kg) finished with 47kg snatch and 59kg clean and jerk.
In the men’s group, Anton Micallef had a close fight with Vlad Baldacchino, but was victorious in the end and claimed the highest sinclair point result on the day. Anton (-81kg) managed a 115kg snatch and a 140kg clean and jerk, which is equivalent to his second best result ever. Baldacchino (-102kg), who has also been in and out of the competition scene due to injuries, managed a whopping 131kg snatch, which is equal to his best ever on stage. He went on to finish with 148kg clean and jerk. Shaun Ciantar (-89kg) also managed a respectable result on the day after snatching 112kg on his last attempt and a successful 135kg on his second clean and jerk attempt.
Junior athlete Luke Treebyward (-89kg) managed a personal best result when he finished with 89kg in the snatch and a successful third attempt of 103kg in the clean and jerk.
This competition was one of the first to serve as a qualifier for the Senior European Championships in which now Malta will be represented by Tenishia Thornton. As well the competition was a qualification for senior and junior categories at major events happening soon in 2023.