Malta places third in World Powerlifting Championships

10 Maltese lifters gave a remarkable performance, driving Malta to third position behind Great Britain and Italy

Dylan Callus benching a European record of 185kg
Dylan Callus benching a European record of 185kg

A number of Maltese lifters competed in the WDFPF World Powerlifting Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, with Malta finishing third overall. The team consisted of 10 lifters: Nathalie Agius, Ryan Agius, Luke Bonanno, Dylan Callus, Alwyn Cassar, Cleaven Cutajar, Maria Debono, Daniel Debono, Charles Degiorgio, Shawn Farrugia.

This was the second time Malta came third during an international powerlifting competition. First place was won by Great Britain and second place Italy.

On Saturday all female lifters and male lifters up to 75kg started off the competition. Weighing at 52.8kg, Maria Debono with an easy 95kg squat opener, went on to a 102.5kg and failed her third attempt of 107.5kg due to the bar dipping on the way up. Onto the bench, Debono pressed a third successful attempt of 65kg, which is both a personal best and a national record for the -53kg category. Debono also registered a 125kg deadlift. Debono managed to get second place in the -53kg category and came third in her platform out of 15 foreign lifters.

Maria Debono in the hole with a 107.5kg squat
Maria Debono in the hole with a 107.5kg squat

This was the second international competition for Nathalie Agius, after having competed in the European Championships in King’s Lynn this year. Agius bettered her overall total having registered a 92.5kg squat on the second attempt, a 55kg bench press and a 105kg deadlift.

Luke Bonanno competed in the -67.5kg category. At just 16 years of age, Bonanno managed a 150kg squat, 100kg bench press and a 167.5kg deadlift. All these lifts along with the total are national records for the Teenager 2 age category.

Charles Degiorgio weighed at a lean bodyweight of 71kg. He started off his first squat attempt with 200kg, after which he squatted 210kg but was unfortunately red lighted due to depth. Degiorgio went on to bench 120kg and finished off with a 240kg deadlift. Degiorgio got third place in the -75kg category out of 12 lifters.

Shawn Farrugia, who came 4th after Degiorgio, managed to squat 180kg, bench press 145kg and pulled a 215kg deadlift. Nonetheless, Farrugia never bench pressed 145kg while weighing at 71.7kg bodyweight.

On Sunday Alwyn Cassar competed in the -100kg category and started off his first international competition by registering an easy 170kg squat. The 17-year-old bench pressed a personal and national record of 110kg and pulled 192.5kg deadlift.

Daniel Debono competed in the -82.5kg open category and achieved a good total through a 175kg squat, 120kg bench press and a 192.5kg pull. Debono failed a 200kg deadlift on his 3rd attempt due to hitching, which means that he will get this number in no time!

daniel debono during his first squat attempt on Sunday
daniel debono during his first squat attempt on Sunday

Ryan Agius competed in the -90kg open category and registered a 217.5kg squat, 135kg bench press, and 255kg pull. All the numbers registered by Agius were all personal records.

Cleaven Cutajar weighed in at 129.8kg bodyweight and competed in the -145kg open category. He squatted 220kg and got red-lighted for depth on his second attempt of 235kg. He tried the 235kg again in a third attempt, however it wasn’t in him. Cutajar went on to press 150kg and narrowly failed the 160kg on the second and third attempts. Despite these shortcomings, Cutajar did have a good performance in the deadlift, where he registered lifts of 240kg, 260kg and 270kg.

Dylan Callus competed in the -125kg junior category and started off with a fairly easy 250.5kg squat which was already a European record in his age category. He went on to break his own record on the second and third attempt with 265kg and 272.5kg respectively. He did not go for a fourth attempt as he wanted to preserve energy for the bench and deadlift. Callus started off with a shaky start in the bench press due a technicality. He repeated the same weight of 170kg for his second attempt, and went on for the world record of 181.5kg. After having a successful third attempt, he proceeded with a fourth attempt, again breaking his own record with 185kg world record bench press.

Callus was hungry for more records come deadlifts. He started with a conservative 300kg attempt, went on to break the European record with 320.5kg and a third attempt of 330kg. Callus wanted to give it his all and tried a 338kg world record deadlift as a fourth attempt. He registered the highest total of the 160 lifters present in the competition and also the highest total in the history of Maltese powerlifting with a huge 782.5kg. This total gave a fourth place to Callus from the 160 lifters present on both days. Callus bettered his schwartz points and he now has a total of 410 points. Callus also came first in both the Junior and Open -125kg Category.

The Malta Drug-Free Powerlifting Association will be organizing its very first National Single Lift Event on 2 December at the Birgu Youth Centre. Anyone interested in competing in the Single Event can register their name on facebook or by sending an email on [email protected]

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