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Tenishia Thornton takes top accolade at Malta Weightlifting Association Awards

The annual Malta Weightlifting Association Awards ceremony was held with a difference last week due to the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases.

This year, only the winners were invited to a sit-down event where they were honoured for their success in 2021.

There’s no doubt, that year after year, the Malta Weightlifting Association has been celebrating growing success in the sport.

Following a very difficult year of uncertainties, canceled competitions, and difficult training situations, the MWA has come out on top in 2021.

In fact, last year we saw the Malta Weightlifting Association participate in all four major competitions, namely the European Championships, World Championships, Commonwealth Championships and Olympic Games.

The biggest accolade of the night went to Tenishia Thornton, who won the Diamond Award for her exceptional performances in the last 12 months.

Despite having to deal with an ongoing injury for most of 2021, she managed a series of successful results throughout the year.

Thornton managed a 10th place finish at the senior European Championships in Moscow before claiming a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Championships.

The young weightlifter was also honoured for attaining the highest number of national records in 2021. She has broken 83 marks across the 49kg, 55kg and 59kg weight categories in the Under-17, Under-20, Under-23 and senior age groups.

Yazmin Zammit Stevens was also recognised for being the first Maltese female athlete to represent the MWA at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Zammit Stevens also managed to win a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Championships and finished 13th overall at the World Championships.

Fifteen-year-old Rylee Borg was next in line for most national records broken behind Thornton. He managed to set a whopping 64 national marks across multiple weight categories and age groups.

Borg also managed to win the bronze level award for these achievements this year.

Kim Camilleri Lagana and Roberta Tabone also received the bronze level award.

Other accolades handed out during the night were the Most Improved Award, won by Nathan Mifsud (+78 points) and Aaliyah Gatt (+30 points).

The Most Improved Newcomer Award went to Kaya Curmi Inguanez who bettered her Sinclair points by 26 points.

Great promise

The Commitment Award of the Year 2021 was won by Luke Treebyward who has shown great promise and determination in his training.

The awards were handed out by Malta Weightlifting Association president Jesmond Caruana and secretary Matthew Camilleri.

At the end of the ceremony, Caruana described 2021 as a year of success and outlined the governing body’s plans for the coming 12 months.

He said that the Commonwealth Games, to be held in Birmingham, are the association’s main focus for 2022.

Other main competitions for the upcoming year include European Championships for both senior and youth athletes and the World Championships which will be the first qualifying event for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

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