Malta finished in 2nd place overall at the European Small Nations in Iceland this weekend, beating Cyprus for the first time ever
The Maltese team made up of Vlad Baldacchino, Matthew Camilleri, Rodmar Pulis, Yazmin Zammit Stevens, Elisia Scicluna and Shelby Mangion Vassallo finished with multiple personal bests and national records behind the reigning champions from Iceland.
The women were up first with Elisia Scicluna (-90kg) breaking records across the board with a 78kg snatch, 98kg clean and jerk and 176kg total. This result for Elisia was the 4th consecutive competition were she has improved her total, showing a lot of promise towards her qualification for the Mediterranean Games this coming June. Zammit Stevens, who has already qualified for the Mediterranean games finished with 79kg in the snatch and a 100kg in the clean and jerk. She weighed in at a few grams over her usual weight category of 69kg, therefore competing in the 75kg category where she broke all Lindsey Borg national records from the Melbourne Commonwealth Games back in 2006. Zammit Stevens and Elisia total was the third best and fourth best respectively in the competition, beaten only by the Icelandic girls. Shelby Mangion Vassallo (-69kg) was also competing for her preparation of the upcoming Youth Olympic Games in the late summer. The 15 year old was the youngest competitor and finished with a 60kg snatch and 73kg clean and jerk, improving her overall best total by 1kg breaking 4 national records in the process both in Youths and Juniors categories.
The mens group was proving to be a very close battle of kilos. Matthew Camilleri (-85kg) finished with a respective 108kg snatch and 135kg clean and jerk, while Rodmar Pulis(-85kg) finished with 105kg and 140kg. Pulis missed out on the Small Nations tournament last year because of injury and has been slowly making a comeback this year. Vlad Baldacchino(-94kg) had the strongest total for team Malta’s men group where he snatched a national record of 127kg and clean and jerked 150kg. Vlad has also been working hard towards making the Mediterranean Games team and has constantly showed tremendous improvement.
Iceland’s team, which included a Crossfit Games podium finisher, a European Championships top 10 finisher and 2 World Championships top 10 finishers finished with 1487 points, followed by Malta with 1323 points and Cyprus with 1299 points. The team was under the guidance of National coach, Jesmond Caruana. This competition could not be possible without the support of the Malta Olympic committee.
Vlad, Yazmin and Elisia will be travelling to Serbia in 2 weeks times for another team event for the preparation of the Mediterranean Games.