Participation in the European Small Nations Tournament

Emanuel Schembri lifted a total of 270kg to qualify for CWG.

The Maltese National Weightlifting Team just arrived from the 32nd European Small Nation’s Tournament and the Open Weightlifting Tournament being organised in Limassol, Cyprus. The countries who took part where Greece and Cyprus both of which take part regularly in the Olympics, followed by Iceland, Luxemburg, San Marino, Wales, Scotland, England and Malta. In the Open Tournament there was a very fierce competition, with the top dog, Greece being followed by Cyprus and Iceland. In the Small Nations Tournament, the team section was won by Cyprus, followed by Iceland and then Luxemburg.

In all there were 12 female athletes and 39 male athletes, 12 of which were Greek, thus accounting for the very high standards shown in this competition. Such copious participation facilitated the administrative Maltese weightlifting staff in reinforcing the good relationships between countries and officials as well as promoting the Mediterranean Cup, which will be organised in Malta next October. Also this is the first time in Maltese weightlifting history that Malta participated in an international competition with two teams being Malta A and Malta B, as a result young promising athletes were given a possibility to compete on an international platform. Such abundant participation was only possible thanks to the great friendship that exists between the Malta Weightlifting Association and the Cyprus Weightlifting Association.

Malta A consisted of Emanuel Schembri, Noel Colerio, Clint Grech and Steve Borg. With the gradual increase in the intensity and volume of training, from the last international competition, together with the training camp being held in the Olympic training centre in Italy which was organised thanks to the precious help of the Malta Olympic Committee, Emanuel Schembri hoisted overhead an impressive total of 270kg. This was done in a confident manner, since he only needed the second attempt of the clean and jerk to reach this result, thus qualifying for the Commonwealth Games, being organised in New Delhi, India. On his way for the 270kg total, Emanuel lifted 114kg in the snatch, and then he increased the clean and jerk national record by 2kg, thus now standing at 156kg, being the highest absolute weight lifted overhead in Maltese weightlifting history. This also means that Emanuel now holds the total record for the 105+kg category being 270kg.

Clint Grech had an excellent competition in which he lifted a personal best in the clean and jerk, hoisting confidently overhead 117kg and totalling 200kg. Stephen Borg regained his previous form by lifting 86kg in the snatch and clean and jerked 111kg. Noel Coleiro lifted 97kg in the snatch and 135kg in the clean and jerk. This helped a lot Malta A in the overall points by scoring 276 points and also improving his rankings.

In the Open Tournament, 3 young, strong and promising athletes, being Cleavan Cutajar, Rodmar Pulis and Christian Saliba took part in this competition as Malta B. For Cleavan Cutajar, this competition was his first international show, however regardless of the pressure, he was very confident in his lifts. In fact Cleavan lifted all the 6 lifts with a much improved technique. Rodmar Pulis who is the youngest of the Maltese athletes, at 15 years of age, took part in his 3rd international competition. He continued to show good results and improve his position in the rankings with 214 points. Christian Saliba who has a great international experience, continued to strengthen Malta Team B, which in total obtained 594 points, being a very good result for a reserve team.

A big congratulation goes to Jesmond Caruana president of the Malta Weightlifting Association, in passing his exams as a category 1 referee. This will further strengthen Malta’s participation in international competitions.

Mark Pirotta assisted the athletes in preparation to a good performance while David Saliba referee a number of competitions.

Last and not least Malta bidded and won the right to organise the Weightlifting Small Nations Tournament in 2013.

Some of the upcoming events that the Malta Weightlifting Association is going to organise are the course regarding competitions rules and regulations, between the 19th and 20th July, which is open to the general public. Afterwards for whoever wishes, an exam will be held, which will strengthen the administrative staff, especially the female referring staff.

As a build up for the preparation of the Mediterranean Cup, that will be organised in Malta, the Malta Weightlifting Association will be organising 2 qualifying competitions, in which athletes will be fighting for the 8 places in the 2 teams who will take part in this fierce competition.