The Malta Weightlifting team – made from Tenishia Thornton and Yazmin Zammit Stevens with Jesmond Caruana as team leader – have recently represented Malta in the European Senior Championships in Moscow, Russia.
Given that this was the last chance for senior athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games, this was a high-level competition for the two. Tenishia Thornton, the youngest athlete in the competition at 15, competed in the 49kg category and finished with 70kg in the Snatch and 89kg in the clean and jerk.
Her 89kg Clean and Jerk was a 5kg improvement on her previous best, breaking a total of 5 national records with all her Clean and Jerk attempts at 85kg, 87kg, and 89kg – with her two totals at 157kg and 159kg.
Thornton also broke two Commonwealth youth records in Snatch and Total and finished in first place in the 49kg B group and 10th in the overall. This marked the best result for the Malta Weightlifting in the European Seniors in history. With a total of 159kg, she scored 489 Olympic qualification points and in the MWA rankings, moved to Diamond Level.
Despite having been out of competition for a few months due to injuries and wrist surgery just 8 weeks ago, Yazmin Zammit Stevens managed to break 2 national records in the Snatch phase of the competition with her 86kg and 88kg attempts in the 71kg category.
Zammit Stevens also managed her second attempt in clean and jerks at 102kg, finishing with a total of 190kg and scored 383 Olympic qualification points. This marks her third appearance at these championships and the last senior Olympic Qualification for her.
Meanwhile, Jesmond Caruana, President of Malta Weightlifting Association, was elected as Executive Board Member of the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF).
Thornton is now preparing for her last Olympic qualification competition in the IWF World Juniors in Uzbekistan in May.