Olympic Weightlifting in Malta
Local History Malta Amateur Weightlifting Association
Although weightlifting might be considered by many to be a relatively new sport locally it is certainly not. The first recountedevents of Olympic weightlifting in Malta were recorded right after the Second World War, when English service men brought the game to the island.
The first club was registered under the name of Malta Premium Physical Culture Club situated at the Sliema school and it was actually registered with the British Amateur Weightlifting Association.
At that time weightlifting was a mixture of gymnastics, hand balancing, strength feats and bodybuilding. The Maltese showed interest and in the fifties this sport flourished. But the common practice of immigration at the time drove many lifters away from our islands leaving this sport to die a natural death.
It was one of these same immigrants, who decided to return to his homeland, by the name of Charles Mifsud who rekindled the love of this sport on our islands. In the early seventies Mr.Mifsud achieved the title of Australian national Champion in his category several times. It was disappointing for him, on his return here, to find that no official recognition to his sport existedand no association was registered within the Malta Olympic Committee. Thus the man who will always be known as the ‘father of weightlifting’ in Malta embarked on a mission to create the Malta Amateur Weightlifting Association. The Association was set up in 1975 and was formally recognized by the International Weightlifting Federation at the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976.
Apart from local competitions and exhibitions held regularly around the island, the M.W.A. successfully organized several International competitions, which apart from increasing the popularity of the sport gave a lot of international exposure both to our athletes and officials.
The following is the list of competitions organised by the M.W.A in the past thirty years:
1981 3rd European Small Nations Tournament
1983 Commonwealth Championships
1988 Commonwealth Championships
1990 12th European Small Nations Tournament
1990 Junior European Championships
1993 Friendship Games (Malta – Tunisia – Sicily)
1995 17th European Small Nations Tournament
1999 European Promotion Cup
1999 21st European Small Nations Tournament
2003 25th European Small Nations Tournament
2004 Commonwealth Championships
2005 27th European Small Nations & 1st Charles Mifsud open Tourname
2008 Friendship Games (Malta – Sicily)
2009 31stEuropean Small Nations & 2ndCharles Mifsud open Tournament
2010 5th Mediterranean Cup
2013 35th European Small Nations & 3rd Charles Mifsud open Tournament
2015 9th Mediterranean Cup
2016 3rd European Union Cup & 1st Malta international open
From time to time this sport manages to yield individuals who make their mark and even fair well internationally.
Fist weightlifter in Malta that achieved international success was Charles Azzopardi.
The most significant results were from athletes such as Leonard Farrugia.
Charles Callus obtained the best junior lifter at the very first Small Nation Games held in San Marino in 1985.
Richard Attard and Ian Grech obtained bronze medals in their respective categories at the prestigious Welsh tournament, the Silver Dragon in 1994. In the same competition Simon Brincat acquired the silver medal in his category.
In 1999 Michael Micallef earned the Best Lifter award in the Small Nations Tournament held locally, in so doing he also established new records in this same tournament in the 56kg category with 90kg Snatch, 110kg Clean & Jerk and a total of 200kg
During that period the best athletes showed and achieved their best results after persevering training during their yearly preparations. Mike Micallef, Kevin Cassar and Noel Coliero where awarded and received the Medal for such determination. This was a proud moment for these athletes asno other Country ever achieved and won both championships since the founding of the ESNT.
Kevin Cassar completed his preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002 after achieving the qualified standard for the games. This was another milestone for the MAWA as the association had an athlete representing it for the first time.
Noel Coleiro obtained the Best Lifter award in the Small Nations Tournament held locally in 2003.
In 2004 Noel Coleiro obtained bronze medal in his respective category in the Welsh Silver Dragon tournament. That same year, the female side of this sport received a boost when RodienneMifsud received the bronze medal in the Commonwealth Championships.
Sadly,by the end of 2004 the Malta Weightlifting Federation received a blow when its founder, the President Mr. Charles Mifsud passed away. Mr. Mifsud will always be remembered for his exceptional contribution to this sport. Luckily the fruit of his labour still flourishes today and is still progressing and continuing to bring success to this sport.
In 2006 Lindsay Borg qualified to represent Malta in the Commonwealth Games in Sidney Australia, achieving good result of 4th place. Also same year Kevin Cassarestablished new records in the European Small Nations Tournament held in Cyprus in the 85kg category with 120kg Snatch, 146kg Clean & Jerk and a total of 266kg.
In 2011 Rodmar Pulis obtained bronze medal in Juniors and Silver medal in Youths in the 77kg category in the Commonwealth Championships in Cape Town.
2013 a successful year for Rodmar Pulis when he qualified to represent Malta in the Mediterranean Games in Mersin.
2013 another milestone for Malta weightlifting when Rodmar Pulis qualify to represent Malta in the Universiade Games in Kazan.
In 2013 Nicole Gatt obtained bronze medal in Youths in the 53 kg category in the Commonwealth Championships in Penang.
In 2014 Jessica Edge qualified and represented Malta in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Scotland.
In 2014 Nicole Gatt Participated in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing China. She lifted in the 53 kg category.
In 2015 Kieran Mifsud Qualified and Participate in the Youth Commonwealth Games in Apia Samoa. He lifted in the 94 kg category and placed fourth. In the same year he ranked in 20th place in the IWF world youth rankings 94kg category.
In 2016 Kyle Micallef was the first Maltese weightlifter that participated in the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, He competed in the 94kg Category.
Presidents of Malta Weightlifting since 1975
Since its formation in 1975, several individuals served on the committee of the M.W.A., Mr. Charles Mifsud the Founder and President till his passing away in 2004.
2005/2006 President Mr. Alfred Ellul Mercer
2006/2009 President Mr. David Saliba
2009/ to present President Mr. Jesmond Caruana