The 5th European Union Weightlifting Cup was underway this weekend in Innsbruck, Austria. The Maltese team was made up of Shelby Mangion Vassallo and first time international competitor Tenishia Thorton. The meet saw the best athletes from Europe, Italy, Spain, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Croatia, Slovenia and Malta in the U15, U17 and U20 age groups lift in this important meet, that comes only months before the Youth Olympics qualifying events; the European Youth Championships.
Tenishia Thornton, category (-44kg) and body weight 41.7kg, the youngest athlete present at the championships, performed like a weightlifting veteran, despite this being her first ever international competition. The 12 year old finished with a National Record in the snatch with her 37kg snatch and along with her 51kg clean and jerk broke another national record with her 88kg total finish. The rookie surpassed expectations when she finished in 5th place in the U15 group, finishing ahead of the 14 year old from Sweden. She also finished in 16th overall from the 19 combined U15, U17 and U20 athletes.
In the U17 group, Shelby Mangion Vassallo, category (-69kg) weighed in at a very light 64.8kg. Mangion Vassallo who was competing in this meet for the third year in a row finished with a 58kg snatch and a 70kg clean and jerk. Despite the lifts not being her best, she finished in 6th place in the U17 group.
The athletes were accompanied by national team Coach, Jesmond Caruana, who is also the President of the European Union Confederation.