The Weightlifting Mediterranean Cup has come to an end this weekend with an excellent performance by the Maltese national team. The competition in Ljubljana brought together athletes from all around the Mediterranean with teams from Italy, Spain, France, Israel, Cyprus, Tunisia, Serbia, Bosnia, San Marino and of course Slovenia.
The Maltese team was made up of Matthew Camilleri, Andy Grech, Anton Micallef and Rodmar Pulis for the men, Elisia Scicluna and Shelby Mangion Vassallo for the women.
Scicluna and Mangion Vassallo were the first to take on the platform on Saturday morning. Shelby (-69kg) had a stellar performance managing to finish with 6/6 lifts, personal bests in both the snatch and clean and jerk, and even broke 10 national records in the process with increasement of 10kg on previous records. She finished with a 56kg snatch and 70kg clean and jerk, a result particularly impressive given that she is only 14 years old. Hard to believe this was her first international performance as she showed the confidence of an experienced veteran on the platform. Shelby has been showing consistency and determination in her preparation for next years Youth Olympic Games.
Scicluna (-75kg) also managed a personal best performance in her first meet competing in a lower body weight category. Elisia finished with a 70kg snatch and a personal best clean and jerk of 90kg.
The boys followed with an equally respectable performance. Matthew Camilleri (-85kg) finished with a 110kg snatch and 131kg clean and jerk, Rodmar Pulis (-94kg) showed steady improvement in his first international performance since being injured last year finishing with a 98kg snatch and 135kg clean and jerk. Anton Micallef (-85kg) managed a 100kg snatch and 120kg clean and jerk and finally Andy Grech (-85kg) with an 89kg and 108kg clean and jerk.
The Maltese team finished in 4th position overall with Serbia winning the overall trophy, followed by Italy and Slovenia.
The teams were accompanied by coach Kurt Camilleri and referee Rodienne Balzan.
The Ljubljana Open tournament was also underway at the same meet with Commonwealth qualified athletes Yazmin Zammit Stevens (-69kg) and Kieran Mifsud (105kg+) both participating. Yazmin finished with a personal best and national record snatch of 81kg and a 99kg clean and jerk, finishing with a national record total of 180kg. Kieran Mifsud also managed a personal best and two national records in snatch of 132kg in juniors and in seniors. In clean and jerk he finished with a 151kg. The decision to keep Mifsuds clean and jerk attempts low was made after he was feeling a slight pain in his knee. In fact, he only went on to make his first attempt and retired from the competition after that. Both Zammit Stevens and Mifsud finished on the podium with individual silver medals for their excellent performance.