Malta’s first ever representative at the IWF World Championships, Yazmin Zammit Stevens, finished in 5th place in her D group on the World Stage.
The championships, organised in Ashgabat, brought together the worlds highest ranked lifters from 88 different countries from all around the world, which makes this championships the highest level competition in weightlifting.
Zammit Stevens competed in the newly established 64kg category where she finished with a 80kg snatch and 99kg clean and jerk. Unfortunately, one of her snatches at 83kg and a clean and jerk at 101kg were controversially ruled no lifts by referees for elbow press out, which were not evident when the lifts were replayed. The 179kg total was still enough to put Yazmin in 5th place in her group amongst the best lifters in the world.
The Turkmenistan media were very happy to welcome Yazmin to the World Championships and in fact held an interview with her after the competition as they were documenting her journey from her crowdfunding campaign a few months ago. In the interview Yazmin said she was grateful for the Maltese public for helping her with her journey and felt like she owed them a great result. Even though she aimed for more kilos than she attained, she managed a good result and hoped she made Malta proud. She continued to say that this was only the first step of a very long process, and her and her coach will take this result, learn from it and build on top of it. She also thanked the Malta Weightlifting Association, Malta Olympic Committee and SportMalta for their help.
The IWF World Championships were the first qualifier event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Other qualifying events include the Doha Cup in Qatar in late December. Zammit Stevens was accompanied by her coach, Jesmond Caruana, who is no stranger to the World Championships. However, he is usually at these major championships on duty as an official, this was of course also his first as coach.