I took notice of how 2008 gold medalist Ilya Ilin (94kg) had charisma at the 2011 World Championships. I couldn’t decide if I liked him because he seemed to have a good time, but I could see him acting kind of like a dick towards his opponents. At one point, he hit a lift (I think it was his first or second clean and jerk) and as he was walking off the platform he gestured to an opposing lifter by throwing his palms upward as if to say, “What ya got, SON?!” He then smoked the hell out of a 226kg clean and jerk on his second attempt to win the world championship on body weight (because Artem Ivanov missed a WR 227kg clean and jerk on his third).
The other day I posted a video of Ilya hitting some shit-hot snatches (below), working up to 192.5kg (which I think is 4.5 above the WR). He looked ridiculously solid, but lifters typically do in training. They have the luxury to weigh more than their competition weight, but they are probably in the middle of some kind of drug cycle that inevitably has to be tapered for a competition. Nevertheless, it’s a significant improvement over his 181kg second attempt snatch from the 2011 World Championships.
Kevin P. commented on the video and said that the Ilya vs. Artem Ivanov battle would be a good one. He cited that Ivanov hit 190/230 in a competition recently in the Ukraine. I don’t know if there is video, but that’s a scary improvement over what he did at World’s in 2011. Watch this video and you’ll see his 186kg snatch, which was kind of hard, and his crack at 227 on his third CJ (there was no chance on the jerk, maybe because of the jump). Now watch his second attempt CJ at 221 and you’ll see an unstable jerk. It’s surprising that he can make such a stark improvement. However, maybe the “meet in Ukraine” didn’t drug test, and he’s humming on a cycle? I mean, c’mon, a 406 total to a 420 total?
I’d expect Ilya to improve upon his World Championship total because he missed a 184 snatch on his third, yet he cranked the hell out of his snatches up to 192.5 in the first video (shown above). I’d expect him to go at least 186, maybe 188? I guess it depends on what Ivanov is hitting. However, Ilya’s strength is in the CJ, and his potential wasn’t tapped in the World Championship last year. It’s almost scary how nonchalantly Ilya hits his CJs; this video shows him easily hitting 230 (allegedly in response to Ivanov’s recent 190/230 meet). He’ll go for whatever he needs, and I think he’ll make it. I just don’t think Ivanov is going to have enough to beat Ilya.
If we base it off their performance at last year’s World’s and their potential to improve, Ilya clearly had weight left on the bar and Ivanov was clearly maxing out his potential. If they both have improvements, it would seem that Ilya will still have the edge. If Ivanov can hit similar numbers as his 190/230 meet (he won’t), it will be close, yet I think Ilya would still edge him on CJ after they go toe-to-toe on snatch. If Ivanov wins, it’d be a hell of an upset, but I don’t see it happening. There’s something about Ilya’s attitude about enjoying competition and training that will have me rooting for him when the showdown occurs in London. Can’t wait.