Malta drug free power lifting national championships

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 20:30

The seventh edition of the MDFPA National Championships, held at The Pit in Hamrun, on the 28th September 2014, will go down in the MDFPA’s history for various reasons. It was a record breaker in itself for the number of participants contesting for the honours, 33 in total. Also, various National Records were broken on the day as well as a number of WDFPF World and European Records in Teenage and Master Classes. To top up this, the majority of lifters managed Personal Bests, and a number of novices performed very well, amongst whom were Shawn Farrugia who was declared -60kg National Champion, and Clive Sammut who earned higher Shwartz Points than the winner of the -82.5kg weight category. Mario Mifsud was once again crowned Overall National Champion for the sixth time, with Charles Degiorgio and Kris Mintoff taking second and third places respectively. Pamela Psaila was declared overall National Champion for the Female Division. She was also declared champion in the under 63kg category. Nicole Mifsud achieved second overall and was declared under 90kg category National Champion. Nathalie Borg followed, and was declared under 58.5kg National Champion. Seven men were declared 2014 National Champions. These were Shawn Farrugia, under 60kg, Justin Said, under 67.5kg, Charles Degiorgio, under 75kg, Adrian Cauchi, under 82.5kg, Mark Formosa, under 90kg, Kris Mintoff, under 100kg, and Mario Mifsud, under 110kg. Ismael Bondin, Denilson Manicaro, Nicole Mifsud and Francis Spiteri are new International Record holders in their respective age divisions. Manicaro and Mifsud are also Senior National Record holders in their respective weight classes.


There were three female lifters, each contesting a different weight class. Pamela Psaila, who moved up a weight class to the under 63kg class, broke all National Records in her weight class, registering lifts of 100kg in the squat, 65kg in the bench press and 140kg in the deadlift. She climbed up back to number one spot in the Female All-Time National Rankings, and this was done after earning first place in a crossfit competition the previous day. In second place was sixteen year old Nicole Mifsud who ended up with a 65kg National Bench Press Record and WDFPF Euopean Teenage 2 Record. Nathalie Borg put up some encouraging numbers, registering a 70kg squat, 47.5kg bench press and a 100kg deadlift at a 57kg bodyweight.


Newcomer Shawn Farrugia took the platform by storm, winning a National Championship on his first time on the platform. He walked away with the under 60kg gold, breaking the Bench Press National Record n the process with a 95kg press. He had previously squatted 120kg, and ended the day with a 160kg deadlift. He even took a fourth attempt to break the National Record, managing to lock out 170kg, however the lift was disallowed due to Farrugia letting go of the bar before the weight plates had touched the platform. The other competitor in this category was 14 year old Denilson Manicaro, who is the youngest lifter to ever set foot on an MDFPA platform. However, Manicaro fights big for his size, for he is already a Senior National Record Holder, managing to nick the deadlift record previously held by Justin Said. Manicaro pulled a 160kg loaded barbell smashing both the Senior National Record and the Teenage 1 World and European Records in the process.


Justin Said has confirmed himself as one of the most pleasing lifters to watch. He got nine good lifts out of nine and his technique looked hundred percent the same from one attempt to the next. He managed to achieve a Prsonal Best Performance, and has his eyes set on the under 67.5kg National Records. The other lifter contesting this weight category was Jurgen Casha, a novice who managed to put up a decent performance and who can certainly increase his lifts in future competitions should he familiarise himself better to the technical rules on the platform.


“King” Charles Degiorgio once again managed to win his weight class and achieve second place overall. Degiorgio started out as a favourite to take this category, however after the bench press Gabe Mamo ended up with a 10kg advantage in the squat-bench subtotal. But, come deadlift time, Degiorgio managed to pull off an amazing display of deadlifting power setting up a 255kg National Record on his second attempt, beating his previous best by 9kg. He even went for a World Record attempt on the third and was not far from achieving it. Second place was easily grabbed by fourth place overall finisher Mamo, the 19-year old lifter who is the revelation of local Powerlifting. His lifts looked ridiculously easy. He managed 185/130/220, increasing the Bench Press National Record in the process. 15-year old Ismael Bondin benched a huge 100kg to take the platform by storm and break a WDFPF European Teenage 1 record. Kirstin Abela is another youngster who is solidly making improvements at every consecutive competition. Steve Dutton, is another solid lifter who managed a Personal Best performance and missed only his last deadlift attempt while Roderick Mifsud is a new lifter who performed well and looks set for a marked improvement should he return to the platform in the future.


The under 82.5kg category turned out to be a very competitive class. The favourite lifter for the honours, Sean Galea decided to call pull out just half an hour after weighing in due to an injury suffered the previous day. That left seven lifters competing, with the top two fiercely contesting for top spot till the very end. These were Adrian Cauchi, Christian Agius, George Bonanno, Francis Spiteri as well as newcomers Roderick Attard and Clive Sammut. Sammut and Cauchi ended up taking the top spots with the former earning higher Shwartz points due to a lighter bodyweight while Cauchi earning a bigger total. Cauchi managed a 165kg squat, 115 bench and ended the day with a 225 deadlift to total 505kg while Sammut squatted an easy 180kg and added a 110kg bench and a

210kg deadlift to finish on 500. Thus Cauchi managed to earn the National Champion award by the narrowest of margins, while Sammut managed to finish on top of Cauchi in the National Ranking list. Third place George Bonanno as usual kept the crowd on it toes with his grinding style of lifting, managing 8 lifts out of 9, and coming close to his previous best. Another lifter who had a decent performance was Johann Spiteri, who also managed a Personal Best Performance. Francis Spiteri managed a new World Record in the Master 6 Category of this weight class with a 140kg squat on his second attempt. Christian Agius continued improving on his recent appearances while Roderick Attard, setting foot on the platform for his first time, less than a day after earning second place in a crossfit event put up some decent lifts.


The under 90kg class was another exciting class, and also highly competitive. Mark Formosa, the favourite to take top spot, did not seem willing to take any risks. He set out to lift what he knew he could lift, going for 190/160/250, all of which he had got in previous competitions. The 600kg total was enough to earn him the medal and he walked away with 9 lifts out of 9, all of which were done with relative ease. Second place Jakup Czyrt managed to keep up with Formosa in the deadlift, though ending 10kgs shy of him in both the squat and bench. For Czyrt it was a decent result but he walked away disappointed, having failed his first two attempts in the squat on depth and his last bench attempt which would have possibly given him a chance for top spot. Evan Xerri managed very decent lifts in the bench press and deadlift and is establishing himself as one of the top lifters, but left a few kilos on the platform during the squat. Should he increase his squat poundage in future competitions he would be a force to watch out for in a short time. Next up was Dylan Callus who is a very promising youngster. For Callus this was slightly below his previous best because he only managed his openers, however this lifter is sure to come back with a vengeance, especially when considering his deadlift prowess, as well as the numbers he is putting up in both the bench press and squat considering he is still 18 years old. For Alexander Atanasov this was more than a positive competition. Besides earning a Personal Best Points for himself he lead Denilson Manicaro and Ismael Bondin to local and international records in the bench press and deadlift.


The under 100kg class was contested by three lifters who managed to peform considerably well. First place was earned by Kris Mintoff who came a step closer to his Personal Best and paved his way to a good result next month in Moldova. He got all his three squat attempts ending with 227.5kg and missed his last attempts in the bench and deadlift, ending the day with a 142.5kg press and a 262.5kg pull. Next in line was Daryl Psaila who although lifting less than 24 hours after ending a gruelling crossfit competition, managed a 220kg Personal Best in the deadlift as well as respectable numbers on the two other lifts. Sean Micallef managed to increase slightly his Shwartz Points previous best as well, setting a new PB Bench Press in the process.


The under 110kg class proved to be another exciting weight category. Mario Mifsud decided to cut some weight to go down a weight class, back to his old class after five years dominating the under 125kg category. He easily beat the squat National Record as well as added 10kg to his previous deadlift record in this weight class. However the bench press returned to haunt him as it had done during the 2011 Nationals. Luckily he managed his 160kg opener which paved the way for him to easily walk away with the top award. Second place was harshly contested by veteran Cleaven Cutajar and novice Wayne Gregoraci. Gregoraci set the pace by earning a 25kg advantage on Cutajar during the squat. He added another 17.5kg on top of that during the bench by benching 145kg to Cutajar’s 127.5kg Personal Best. That put Gregoraci up 42.5kg over Cutajar, who was waiting patiently for deadlift time. Now Cutajar needed to turn the tide around with a big pull. Gregoraci ended the day with a 220kg deadlift while Cutajar went for an ambitious 270kg bar bender which he locked out to grab second place with a 7.5kg margin. All this set up an exciting finish. Clayton Gatt also managed to put up some big numbers in the squat and deadlift, lifting 200kg on both of these lifts.


Special thanks goes to Wim Backelant and his wife Karen who made it to Malta for their seventh time to officiate and supervise National competitions as well as Nicholai Borg, Malta’s only International Referee who spent the day refereeing what turned out to be a difficult contest. Another person who has time and again proved his worth during the running of competitions is Hayden Farrugia. Other lifters were also present to spot and load during the periods when they were not lifting or warming up. A final word of appreciation has to go to the Team Pit Coaches Daryl and Pamela Psaila and Roderick

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