The first national weightlifting meet kicked off an eventful year for the Malta Weightlifting Association. The 1st Malta Ranking competition served as a great platform for the next generation of lifters to prove themselves. There were multiple outstanding performances over the weekend including a number of youngsters from 10 to 15 years of age who competed for the first time.
There were two groups for boys and girls with all the beginners giving an excellent performance and all good lifts across the board. The best performance out of the cadets came from Rylee Borg who lifted all personal best lifts with a 40kg snatch and 49kg clean and jerk breaking records in his respective category. Twelve year old Tenishia Thornton gave an outstanding performance in her first competition as a youth athlete. She finished with 31kg snatch and 43kg clean and jerk breaking 7 national records in the -44kg category.
The best youth performance came from Malta’s leading U17 athlete, Shelby Mangion Vassallo. The Youth Olympian to be, also finished with personal best lifts across the board breaking 8 new national records. Shelby lifted a 60kg snatch and 71kg clean and jerk.
Elisia Scicluna (-90kg) gave Malta’s leading female senior athlete, Yazmin Zammit Stevens(-69kg), a run for the lead with an outstanding performance. Scicluna finished with an 8kg total improvement over her last best result from last November, clearly giving Zammit Stevens a tough challenge to keep up. Zammit Stevens just recovered from minor injuries managed to finish with a respectable 75kg snatch and 95kg clean and jerk, only edging out Scicluna by a 1kg total. Elisia Scicluna’s promising performance ended with a 76kg snatch and 93kg clean and jerk, 7 national records in her respective category, and also showed she is on the right track to give qualifying for the Mediterranean Games a shot. Both Zammit Stevens and Scicluna will be travelling to Slovenia for 3 weeks for a training camp leading up to their next international meet in Italy.
In what could only be described as the most entertaining group of the day, Vlad Baldachhino, Rodmar Pulis and Matthew Camilleri all went head to head to try finish on top of a very high level Men’s group. Vlad Baldacchino (-94kg) started off the strongest with a 122kg snatch, followed by Matthew Camilleri (-85kg) with a 108kg snatch and Rodmar Pulis (-85kg) with 105kg. The Clean and jerks proved to be a closer race with Rodmar Pulis finishing on top with a 141kg lift, followed by Baldacchino with 140kg and Camilleri with 133kg. Overall, by Sinclair points, Baldacchino topped the group giving all new personal best lifts. Rodmar Pulis finished in second, which is a promising performance by the weightlifting veteran who is slowly reaching his best performances pre-injury. Matthew Camilleri finished in third showing again and again that he is one of the most consistent lifters. Both athletes now are to prepare for the European small nations competition that is to take place in Iceland. All three showed that they are on the right track to qualify for the Mediterranean Games.
Malta weightlifting would like to congratulate all the lifters and coaches for their top efforts over the weekend. A massive thank you goes out to all our event technical officials and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this competition a success.