Maltese 16-year-old weightlifter Tenishia Thornton crowned Youth World Champion

Tenishia Thornton crowned Youth World Champion at the 2022 IWF Youth World Championships in Mexico

Tenishia Thornton
Tenishia Thornton

Tenishia Thornton has been crowned Youth World Champion at the 2022 IWF Youth World Championships in Mexico.

The Malta Weightlifting Association’s only representative at this event, 16-year-old Thornton finished in first place overall in the 55kg category.

In 2020, Tenishia had finished in 2nd place overall in the snatch and 3rd in the total as a 49kg lifter when the same event was held online due to the COVID pandemic. Two years older and stronger, in her last year as a youth athlete Tenishia has now clinched three gold medals since then.

A total of 17 athletes were participating in this category, from 13 different countries including Egypt, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Ecuador, USA, Italy, Tunisia, Turkey, India, and New Zealand. Thornton started off with a missed attempt at 76kg in the snatch, which she then managed to make on her second attempt.

The Egyptian lifter managed her third attempt at 76kg, while the Mexican lifter missed her third attempt at 77kg, which meant that Tenishia was already leading with only one good attempt.

She went on to strengthen her lead with a third attempt of 78kg, and then clean and jerks with an easy 96kg.

Her opening lift had already secured her the clean and jerk gold and the total gold. However, Thornton went on to make her second attempt at 98kg and third at 100kg to strengthen her lead over the rest of the athletes. Egypt finished second while Mexico finished third. Her 178kg total meant that she surpassed second place by a whopping 7kg total. Her 100kg was also a new national record in the 55kg weight class.

“This is one of Malta's very first-world titles, which is a product of the tireless work being done by the MWA in an effort to produce these types of results internationally,” the MWA said.

Thornton was accompanied by her coach, Jesmond Caruana, the driving force behind the work being done at the MWA, which is supported by Sportmalta and the Malta Olympic Committee.