Malta’s weightlifting queen and absolute strongwoman Yazmin Zammit Stevens has had another insane year as far as the international competition circuit goes, and the young islander still has the Tokyo 2020 Olympics still very much in her gaze.
But even for someone as accomplished as Zammit Stevens, competing in the big leagues isn’t always a walk in the park.
Giving the world of vlogging a shot, Zammit Stevens recently uploaded her first emotional YouTube video documenting her journey up to and at the World Champs
Including the ups and downs of her long journey, the video also has a very raw and authentic insight into the physical and mental torment of dealing with an ankle injury.
“I’m tired of fighting with my head to try be positive,” a crying Yaz told her followers in the midst of an ankle injury that haunted the young athlete for eight whole weeks.
“There were actually a lot of times during those eight weeks where I was convinced that the only way out of that pain for me was to just stop lifting,” she continued. “I know that sounds dramatic, but believe me when I say that for those entire eight weeks of doing all that rehab and doing everything in my power to recover, my ankle never got better, and I was almost ready to just give up”.
“I kept pushing, I kept going to the gym, trying to just stay focused on recovering,” she explained. “Eventually, I was given the go-ahead to get the ankle moving, then all of a sudden everything seemed great. Little did I know, once I started training, that’s when the biggest challenge actually started.”
Zammit Stevens went on to describe how, following her injury, her achievements just weren’t matching up with previous results, with her barely managing to lift half the weight she had managed to before. Following another breakdown, Yaz was flooded with support by everyone from her coach to her boyfriend, and, in her own words, “it was all uphill from there.
Injuries notwithstanding, the road to Tokyo Olympics 2020 is one that the Maltese weightlifting superstar is conquering one step at a time, having just claimed some more medals at the Meditteranean Cup in San Marino.
Yaz competed in her newly adjusted 71kg bracket against six other world-class athletes, completing an 85kg Snatch and 102 kg Clean and Jerk for a total of 187 kilos.
While her total count fell just three kilos short of her performance at the IWF World Championships, Yazmin’s performance was good enough to land her three bronze medals at San Marino… and that’s all that counts.
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Yaz seems visibly shocked after her Clean & Jerk, but the warrior in her wouldn’t give up and she pulled through, earning a well-deserved place on the podium.
“85/102/187… As you can see I was having a super hard time in the C&J, but I had to push through. Can’t wait to go home and start preparing for the third and last Olympic qualification period!”
Yazmin has had an incredibly busy and fruitful last few weeks having competed in both the IWF and San Marino.
“Seeing Malta’s flag up there with USA & Italy was honestly so surreal! So proud to have medalled at an Olympic Qualification event here at the Mediterranean Cup/ San Marino Open.”
Yaz is now entering her third and final Olympic qualification period which ends on 29 June 2020.
With the perseverance and determination she’s shown over the past few months, we’re every bit confident that Yaz will make her debut at Tokyo next year!