The 41st edition of the European Small Nations Tournament was held on our islands this past weekend. The tournament was held in conjunction with the 4th Charles Mifsud International Open and brought together teams from 9 different countries.
The Maltese European Small Nations team was made up of Yazmin Zammit Stevens, Roberta Tabone, Vlad Baldacchino, Matthew Camilleri and Shaun Ciantar. Their combined total placed the Maltese Mixed team in 3rd place overall with Iceland topping the podium for the second year in a row while Cyprus mixed team finished in second place. Zammit Stevens was named best female lifter for these championships. This is the first time a Maltese female has won the title for best lifter in the ESNT. The entire team had an excellent showing where Zammit Stevens (-71kg) finished with a national record snatch of 85kg and a clean and jerk of 100kg with the 185kg total corresponding to 238 points. Roberta Tabone (-71kg) finished with 69kg snatch, 91kg clean and jerk and 203 points.
In the men’s group, the best result came from Vlad Baldacchino (-96kg) who finished with a 127kg snatch and 145kg clean and jerk corresponding to 306 points. Baldacchino’s Snatch, C&J and total were all National records in the 96kg category. Shaun Ciantar (-81kg) finished with personal best lifts all round with a 108kg snatch and 128kg clean and jerk (298.74points). 35-year-old is Matthew Camilleri (-89kg) also had a great meet with 105kg snatch and 130kg C&J corresponding to 280.37 points. The women’s team finished in second place overall while the men’s team finished in 3rd place. The Maltese contingent won the bronze medal finishing ahead of the teams from Monaco and San Marino.
The 4th Charles Mifsud International Open saw teams from England, Ireland, Slovenia, Serbia and Malta Compete for best mixed team, best male and female team, best individual male and female, and best youth athletes. The Maltese contingent was made up of rising star 13-year-old Tenishia Thornton, Elisia Scicluna, Anton Micallef, Rodmar Pulis and Martin Pisani. Tenishia Thornton not only won best youth lifter in these championships, however finished in second place overall from the senior female individual athletes being outlifted only by the senior athlete from Ireland by 14 points. Tenishia was followed by the athlete from England, Briany Watson, who finished in 3rd place overall. Amazingly, 13 year old Thornton is now amongst the top 3 best female senior lifters on the island with only Zammit Stevens and Tabone out ranking her. At this meet Tenishia finished with a personal best snatch of 51kg and a 60kg clean and jerk in the 45kg category. Elisia Scicluna (-87kg) finished with 76kg snatch and 95kg clean and jerk. The female team made up of Thornthon and Scicluna finished in second place overall with Ireland topping the podium and England finishing in 3rd place.
Rodmar Pulis (-89kg), who has been struggling on and off with his shoulder injury from 2016, had a strong showing considering his shape. He finished with 86kg snatch and 130kg clean and jerk. Pulis’ team mate Martin Pisani’s (-96kg) managed a 100kg snatch and 12??? Clean and jerk. Unfortunately, after successfully lifting 105kg in the snatch, Anton Micallef missed all his attempts In the clean and jerks and therefore did not manage to post a total. This missing result in the men’s team affected their overall result, however they still managed to win silver overall. The mixed team made up of the 2 women and 3 men finished in 2nd overall with Ireland topping the podium and England in 3rd place . The best individual male athlete in this championship was won by the athlete from Serbia, with Ireland athletes finishing on 2nd and 3rd place.