The first ranking and qualification event for 2019 for the Maltese Weightlifting Association saw another incredible day of lifting at the Cottonera Sports Complex. With a new venue and a new professional elevated competition platform, the weekend provided many highlights.

The meet saw many new faces participating for the first time as well as some well known athletes who are back on the platform ready to prove themselves as they prepare for another great year of lifting.

In a hugely entertaining women’s group, Yazmin Zammit Stevens broke the first senior national record of 2019 and in the newly established weightlifting categories. Zammit Stevens finished the competition is a routine 83kg snatch and 95kg clean and jerk, breaking 5 national records in the process. Even though the team is yet to be announced, she is the favourite from the women’s group to make part of the European Small Nations team which will take place in a few months here in Malta. More importantly, she has qualified for the next qualifier event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the European Championships in Georgia this April.

U-15 youth athlete, Tenishia Thornthon, wowed the audience as she finished with 8 national records in both the youth U-15 and U-17 age categories at only 13 years old. She lifted a snatch of 45kg and a clean and jerk of 60kg weighing in at 44kg bodyweight. Thornton is another national athlete who is showing substantial improvement and promise towards a successful year on the international platform. Another youth athlete, 15 year old Shelby Mangion Vassallo lifted 2 national records with her 61kg snatch and 134kg total.

There’s no doubt the national female weightlifting team is proving to be very strong in all age groups, with a new addition this year making it even stronger. The youngest athlete of the entire competition at only 11 years old, Kim Camilleri Lagana, competed like a professional at this meet, and also managed to set some new cadet national records in the process.

The men’s groups also provided many highlights, with an interesting shake up in the ranking of the athletes from 2018. This shake up will prove to be crucial for the selection of athletes for the upcoming European Small Nations coming up this March. By far the biggest surprise came from veteran athlete, Anton Micallef. He weighed in at a lower bodyweight from the usual, and finished with a personal best sinclair point result. Micallef lifted a 104kg snatch and 128kg clean and jerk who managed to break 2 national records. This result will definitely put him in the mix for the national team selection. Shaun Ciantar, Matthew Camilleri and Martin Pisani also had respectable results on the day, finishing with comfortable lifts to register their first result for the year.

The best results came from senior athlete Vlad Baldacchino and youth athlete Rylee Borg. 12 year old Rylee, who attends the National School of Sports, finished with 52kg snatch and 63kg clean and jerk, both being lifetime personal best lifts for him. Furthermore, Vlad Baldacchino who managed to break 4 national records as he lifted 120kg snatch and 140kg clean and jerk. Baldacchino is also the favourite from the male group to be selected for the national team for the Small Nations. The team will be made up of 3 male athletes and 2 female athletes and will be announced by the MWA in the upcoming weeks.

The new platform used on the day was a huge investment project by the MWA and SportMalta. This new stage is the type of platform you would see being used in major international events. The huge investment done on this platform will prove to be an important one as the MWA will hope to start organising more and more international competitions on our island, not only of a small scale but also some major championships too.

The European Small Nations in March will be testing out the stage for the first time for an international event. More details regarding time table and dates of the event will be published closed to the date, however the MWA already encourage the Maltese public to keep the weekend between 23rd and 25th of March free to come and show maximum support to the Maltese National team competing on the day.


L-ewwel avveniment ta ‘klassifikazzjoni  għall-2019 għall-Assoċjazzjoni Maltija tal-Weightlifting ra jum inkredibbli ieħor ta’ rfigħ fil-Kumpless Sportiv tal-Cottonera. F’post ġdid u pjattaforma ġdida professjonali tal-kompetizzjoni elevata, dan il-weekend ipprovda bosta suċċessi.

Kompetizzjoni li-rat bosta uċuħ ġodda li qed jipparteċipaw għall-ewwel darba kif ukoll xi atleti magħrufa sew li huma lura fuq il-pjattaforma lesti li jippruvaw ruħhom waqt li qed jippreparaw għal sena oħra kbira ta ‘rfigħ.

Fi grupp tan-nisa, Yazmin Zammit Stevens tikiser l-ewwel rekord nazzjonali għal din is-sena fil-kategoriji tal-piżijiet li għadhom kif ġew stabbiliti mil Federazzjoni internazzjonali. Zammit Stevens spiccat il-kompetizzjoni ta rutina b`refgħa ta’ 83kilo snatch u 95kilo clean & jerk, li kisret 5 rekords nazzjonali fil-proċess. Għalkemm it-tim għadu mhux mħabbar, hija l-favorita mill-grupp tan-nisa li tagħmel parti mit-tim Ewropew tan-Nazzjonijiet Żgħar li se jseħħ fi ftit xhur hawn f’Malta. Aktar importanti minn hekk, hija kkwalifikat għall-avveniment li jikkwalifika għall-Olimpjadi ta ‘Tokyo 2020, il-Kampjonati Ewropej fil-Ġeorġja f’April li ġej.

Atleti żgħażagħ ta ‘l-U-15, Tenishia Thornton, tat spetaklu lil-udjenza hekk kif spiċċat bi 8 rekords nazzjonali kemm fil-kategoriji ta’ età ta ‘l-U-15 kif ukoll ta’ l-U-17 f`eta ta 13-il sena biss.  B`refgħa ta ’45kilo snatch u 60kilo clean & jerk. Thornton hija atleta nazzjonali oħra li qed juri titjib sostanzjali u tipprometti lejn sena ta ‘suċċess fuq il-pjattaforma internazzjonali. Atleta żagħżugħa oħra, Shelby Mangion Vassallo ta ’15-il sena kisret żewġ rekords nazzjonali bi snatch ta’ 61kilo u total ta 134kilo.

M’hemm l-ebda dubju li t-tim nazzjonali ta ‘l-irfigħ tan-nisa qed juri li huwa b’saħħtu ħafna fil-gruppi ta’ l-etajiet kollha, b’żieda ġdida din is-sena tagħmilha saħansitra aktar b’saħħitha. L-iżgħar atleta tal-kompetizzjoni kollha ta ’11 il-sena biss, Kim Camilleri Lagana, ikkompetit bl` aktar mod professjonali f’din il-kompetizzjoni, hija irnexxiela wkoll tistabbilixxi xi rekords nazzjonali tal-kadetti fil-proċess.

Il-gruppi ta ‘l-irġiel ipprovdew ukoll ħafna punti ewlenin, bi klassifikazzjoni interessanti ħafna. Din il-kompetizzjoni kienet kruċjali għall-għażla ta ‘atleti għan-Nazzjonijiet Żgħar Ewropej li ġejjin. Bla dubju l-akbar sorpriża ġiet mill-atleta veteran, Anton Micallef. Huwa ħa sehem f`kategorija ta’piż tal-ġisem aktar baxx mis-soltu, u spiċċa bl-aqwa riżultat personali ta ’punt ta’ sinclair. Micallef refgħa snatch ta ‘104kilo u 128kilo clean & jerk. Dan ir-riżultat definittivament se jniżżlu  għall-għażla tat-tim nazzjonali. Shaun Ciantar, Matthew Camilleri u Martin Pisani kellhom ukoll riżultati rispettabbli fil-ġurnata, u spiċċaw b’liftijiet komdi biex jirreġistraw l-ewwel riżultat tagħhom għas-sena.

L-aqwa riżultati ġew minn atleta  Vlad Baldacchino u atleta taż-żgħażugħ Rylee Borg. Rylee ta ’12-il sena, li jattendi l-Iskola Nazzjonali ta’ l-Isport, spiċċa bi snatch ta ’52kilo u 63kilo clean & jerk, it-tnejn li huma l-aqwa irfigħ personali. Barra minn hekk, Vlad Baldacchino li rnexxielu jikser żewġ rekords nazzjonali hekk kif refgħa snatch ta ‘120kilo u 140kilo clean u jerk. Baldacchino huwa wkoll l-favorit mill-grupp maskil li jintgħażel għat-tim nazzjonali għan-Nazzjonijiet Żgħar. It-tim se jkun magħmul minn 3 atleti maskili u żewġ atleti feminili u se jitħabbru mill-MWA fil-ġimgħat li ġejjin.

Il-pjattaforma l-ġdida użata fil-kompetizzjoni hija proġett ta ’investiment enormi mill-MWA u SportMalta Dan l-istadju l-ġdid huwa t-tip ta ‘pjattaforma li qed tintuża f’avvenimenti internazzjonali ewlenin. L-investiment magħmul fuq din il-pjattaforma se jkun wieħed importanti peress li l-MWA se tittama li tibda torganizza iktar u aktar kompetizzjonijiet internazzjonali fuq il-gżira tagħna, mhux biss ta ‘skala żgħira iżda wkoll kampjonati kbar.

In-Nazzjonijiet Żgħar Ewropej f’Marzu ser jittestjaw l-istadju għall-ewwel darba għal avveniment internazzjonali. Aktar dettalji rigward il-ħin u d-dati ta ’l-avveniment ser jiġu ppubblikati, iżda l-MWA diġà tħeġġeġ lill-pubbliku Malti biex iżomm il-weekend bejn it-23 u l-24 ta’ Marzu liberu li jasal u juri l-appoġġ massimu lit-tim nazzjonali Malti il-gurnata.

 

Jesmond Caruana