Yazmin Zammit Stevens became the first Maltese weightlifter in history to win the Malta Sportswoman of the year last weekend, finishing off an impressive year of breaking national records in the best possible way.
The 24-year-old athlete’s win on Saturday night marks the first time that weightlifting made it to the highest possible honour at the SportMalta Awards. “I am proud that the Maltese sportsWOMAN of the year is in fact a weightlifter, and I hope that this in some way or another further breaks the stereotype that certain sports are more suited for men rather than women,” Yazmin wrote in a long heartfelt Facebook post yesterday following the 58th edition of the Malta Sports Awards.
“2017 has been an amazing year in sports, but a horrible year for my family and I personally,” Yazmin said, whose aunt died earlier last year. “We lost a very important woman in our lives. Heartbroken, we all felt like we couldn’t continue our normal day activities, but because of our incredible bond, we continue to push through and make aunty proud.”
Yazmin scored a total of 91 points from the jury, edging her past four other great local sportswomen; athlete Charlotte Wingfield, ten pin bowler Sue Abela, footballer Rachel Cuschieri and basketball player Christina Grima.
As expected, Yazmin’s coach and weightlifting association president Jesmond Caruana was very proud of her achievement, sharing a photo with ‘the queen of the night’ herself. On the night, weightlifter Shelby Mangion Vassallo also made it to the top five of a separate category, the Youth of the Year Award. Jesmond himself was the runner-up to the Official of the Year Award.
The ceremony, which was organised by Sports Malta and the Għaqda Ġurnalisti Sports, saw 10 more athlete being awarded with the prestigious trophies in their own categories.
Drag racing champion Duncan Micallef took home his second consecutive Sportsman of the Year Award, with an impressive total of 110 points. Meanwhile, San Ġiljan’s waterpolo champions managed to clinch the title of Team of the Year Award after a very tight finish with the Women’s National Basketball Team.
Here’s the full list of the sportspeople who took home the prestigious SportMalta Awarss trophies:
- Sportsman of the Year: Duncan Micallef (Drag Racing)
- Sportswoman of the Year: Yazmin Zammit Stevens (Weightlifting)
- People’s Choice Award: Ella Borg (Gymnastics)
- Team of the Year Award: San Ġiljan (Waterpolo)
- Coach of the Year: Angela Adamoli (Basketball)
- International Event of the Year: Malta Racing Club
- Official of the Year: Paul Sultana (Basketball)
- Youth Female Athlete of the Year: Sarah Xuereb (Ten-Pin Bowling)
- Youth Male Athlete of the Year: Edward Xuereb (Ten-Pin Bowling)
- Special Olympics Malta Athlete of the Year: Rodney Gauci (Squash)
- Special Olympics Female Athlete of the Year: Joanna Vassallo (Bowls)