Two Gold and one Bronze for Malta’s Weightlifting Team at the 210 Challenge Tournament this weekend in Switzerland. Shaun Ciantar, Tenishia Thornthon and Roberta Tabone, three of Malta’s relatively rookie weightlifters, had a stellar performance at the meet where they participated alongside athletes from France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Germany Monaco and San Marino.
13 year old Tenishia Thornthon improved her previous best result by 10kg and broke a whopping 24 national records at the meet by not only improving the lifts in the U17 age category, but also the U20 and Senior groups. The youngster finished with a 42kg Snatch and a 58kg clean and jerk which put in her 1st place from the junior female participants at the meet. Thornton weighed in at 42kg which makes her the third Maltese female in history, and the youngest, to officially snatch her own bodyweight in competition.
In the men’s senior group, Shaun Ciantar also finished in 1st place from a total of 25 athletes. Ciantar managed to lift a personal best lift of 98kg in the snatch phase of the event and a 117kg in the clean and jerk. While not having the best day in the clean and jerk part of the competition, where he only managed to successfully lift his 1st attempt, he ended the competition with 275.71 sinclair points. He was followed by Valentin Baillet from France and Julien Ramos from Monaco.
Roberta Tabone, finished in 3rd place with a 69kg snatch and a 91kg clean and jerk. This was Tabone’s first international competition for weightlifting; however she has competed several times in international Crossfit event. Tabone, who is one of Malta’s top Crossfit athletes, ventured into the sport of weightlifting a few months ago and managed to work her way in on the national team. She was outlfited at this meet by Celia Gabbiani from Monaco who finished in 1st place, and Lorena Pergola from Switzerland in 2nd.
The athletes were accompanied by national team coach Jesmond Caruana. In the next few days, Caruana will be travelling to the IWF World Weightlifting Championships in Turkmenistan. Although this isn’t the first time Caruana will be attending the World Championships, as he has been a technical official in previous years, this will be the first time he will be attending as a national team coach as he will be accompanying athlete. Yazmin Zammit Stevens. The IWF World Championships are the first official qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will see over 700 of the best ranked weightlifters from all over the World. These competitions could not be possible without the help from Sportmalta and Malta Olympic Committee.