After achieving the Atlas Youth Athlete of the Month for June, the young weightlifter Tenishia Thornton has now been awarded with the Atlas Youth Athlete of the Year Award 2022.

She won this prestigious award after a combined vote by a panel of three sports journalists and a public vote which was held online over the past weeks. Runners up are long jumper Jeremy Zammit and paralympic rower Nick Mercieca. The first edition of this award, which took place in 2020, was also won by Tenishia Thornton and at that time, the footballer Haley Bugeja and the gymnast Tara Vella Clark were the overall runners up.

At the tender age of 16, Thornton bagged an astonishing three gold medals and the title of World Youth Champion at the World Youth Championships held in June in Leon, Mexico. Competing in the women’s 55kg class, the young Maltese lifter stunned the field with a successful 78kg lift snatch, a successful 100kg lift in the clean and jerk, and a total of 178kg – to set a new Commonwealth and national record.

In November, Thornton also won the best individual female athlete in the Weightlifting European Small Nation Championships, held in Cyprus. She managed a personal best and national record snatch of 83kg in the 59kg category and paired that up with a 101kg clean and jerk. Malta finished third overall in the competition, with the mixed team taking home bronze.

During the Malta Weightlifting Awards 2022 (MWA), Tenisha Thornton received the Diamond Award for reaching 104.23% in international rankings, which is the highest award that can be reached in the MWA rankings. She also received the Achievement Award for her 144 national records broken in 2022 and the Recognition Award for the top 10 international competitions she participated in during 2022.

Tenishia Thornton was officially presented the annual award and the sports apparel voucher by Matthew von Brockdorff, Managing Director and CEO, Robert Micallef, Chief Commercial Officer and David Cassar Business Development and Marketing Manager of Atlas Insurance. The Malta Sports Journalists Association was represented by President Sandro Micallef and Administrator Stephen Azzopardi.

In the meantime, Atlas Insurance has confirmed that it has renewed the collaboration with the Malta Sports Journalists Association for another year in relation to this initiative aimed at promoting young Maltese athletes.

These awards are a joint initiative of the Malta Sports Journalists Association and Atlas Insurance. The adjudicating panel of this award takes note of all the youths’ achievements of the month under review and at the same time it invites local sport associations and federations to send in their nominations for consideration if they feel that any of their under-21 athletes have distinguished themselves during that month. All the monthly winners are eligible for the annual award.

Nominations for this award may be sent via email to The rules and regulations of the award can be viewed on the website

Photo caption: From left: Yvette Thornton, Sandro Micallef, President (MSJA), Stephen Azzopardi, Administrator (MSJA), Tenishia Thornton, Matthew von Brockdorff, Managing Director & CEO (Atlas Insurance), Robert Micallef, Chief Commercial Officer (Atlas Insurance), David Cassar, Business Development & Marketing Manager (Atlas Insurance).