The British Weightlifting Championships this weekend in Derby doubled as the European Commonwealth Championship and hence the last qualifying opportunity for our Maltese lifters to get to this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The Maltese team was made up of 4 athletes; 3 female and 1 male athlete. This was the first qualification event for the NSS student Rylee Borg (67kg) who managed to snatch 91kg and clean and jerk 111kg. His 202kg total will now put the 15-year-old in the running with the rest of the 67kg weight class.
Tenishia Thornton has qualifying totals in both the 49kg category and most recently the 55kg category. The growing 16-year-old has now added the 59kg weight category to the list and had an outstanding performance in Derby this weekend. She managed all her snatch attempts at 73, 75, and 77kg. She then went to clean and jerk 91kg, 94kg and 97kg. Both her clean and jerk attempts along with her 174kg total are good enough for new national records also.
Roberta Tabone, who had already managed a 184kg total in the Commonwealth Championships in December, lifted a total of 182kg in this competition which means that unfortunately, she has not strengthened her qualifying total yet again. Her 184kg will still stand in the 71kg category, and she will be hoping to rank high enough to make it to the Games next summer.
The last to compete at these championships was Elisia Scicluna. Scicluna, who has been away from international competitions for over 2 years, made a return in the 87kg+ category where she managed a 75kg snatch and 98kg clean and jerk.
All four athletes went up to these championships will prior knowledge of what they needed to lift to be in the running to make the Commonwealth Team next summer. Along with Yazmin Zammit Stevens (64kg) who has already set a qualifying total in Tokyo, they will now await the final ranking list at the end of February to find out who has made it to the final event since the Continental Commonwealth Games qualification events for Pan American, Oceanic, Asian and African continent will be held later next month.
The team in Derby was accompanied by National team coach Jesmond Caruana and NSS Weightlifting Coach Rodmar Pulis.