Karate athlete Thyis Antonelli has been crowned Atlas Youth Athlete of the Year 2023 after winning the Atlas Youth Athlete of the Month Award back in August.
Thyis Antonelli won the prestigious award through the combined vote of a panel of three sports journalists and a public vote that was held online over the previous weeks. This is the first time she won the yearly award. Track and field athlete Graham Pellegrini and triathlete Liam Daly were voted runners up. Previous winners of this annual award are Tenishia Thornton in 2020 and 2022, and Haley Bugeja in 2021.
Thyis Antonelli emerged as a prominent athlete at the second edition of the International Sport School Federation (ISF) U15 Gymnasiade 2023 Games held between the 21st and 27th August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
More than 2000 athletes aged between 13 and 15 years competed in 18 disciplines in what is also known as the World School Sports Games, featuring high technical standards in the respective disciplines.
Competing in the U/15 Kumite +54 kg Cadet category, Thyis Antonelli displayed remarkable skill and determination, securing the first position in her group. Competing against an opponent from USA in the final, Antonelli demonstrated her unwavering spirit with an impressive 8-1 win, seizing the gold medal and marking a historic moment as the first Maltese gold medalist at the ISF Gymnasiade Games.
Thyis Antonelli was officially presented with the Atlas Youth Athlete of the Year Award and a sports apparel voucher by Matthew von Brockdorff, Managing Director and CEO of Atlas Insurance and Robert Micallef, Chief Commercial Officer. The Malta Sports Journalists Association was represented by President Sandro Micallef and General Secretary Lorraine Cunningham.
This award is 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The rules and regulations of the award can be viewed on the website www.maltasportsjournalists.com
Photo caption: From left: Sandro Micallef (MSJA), Matthew von Brockdorff (Atlas Insurance), Thyis Antonelli, Lorraine Cunningham (MSJA) and Robert Micallef (Atlas Insurance).