2012 Olympics — Lifting Preview

My mate Peter Upham of Shire Speed and Strength wrote a pretty cool preview of the 2012 London Games Olympic Weightlifting. Check out the rest of the article that includes every weight class for both genders, but here’s the 105, 94, and 85kg men’s sections.

Men’s 105kg class. Records 200/238 Total 436kg

In 2008, Belarus’ Andrei Aramnau slammed the field with 200/236, 436 total to set all 3 world records. Since then he was kicked off the Belarusian team for drunk driving and did not lift in the 2011 World’s, but did lift in the Belarusian nationals last year and is coming back to form.

In his absence the Russians have been pushing each other hard. 2008 silver medallist Dmitry Klokov has a huge international following. His lifting attitude and athletic physique have built a fandom who are hungry to see him go one better in London. At the 2011 World’s he went toe to toe with countryman Khurtmani Akkaev who has moved up a weight class from the 94kg class and won Bronze and Silver in Athens and Beijing. Additionally, David Bejanyan at the President’s Cup set the World Record in the Clean and Jerk at 238kg earlier last year. Bejanyan’s problem is that his Snatch and total are not as competitive and he will likely miss out this time, but its an easy prediction to make that he will ascend the space that Klokov and Akkaev will leave after London.

TIP: If Aramnau is on form I predict one of the great all time three-way battles for the Gold. At the World’s, Akkaev rose to Klokov’s challenge and made the lifts necessary to get the victory; Klokov knows what his countryman can do and will leave it all out there. I hope he takes the final lift and gives it one of his trademark almighty Viking roars to win the Gold.

Men’s 94kg class. Records 188/232 Total 412kg

Ilya Ilin, from Kazakhstan sensationally won the 2008 Olympic gold over the sentimental pick, Szymon Kolecki from Poland, and Russian Khadjimourad Akkaev, who has moved up to the 105kg class. Ilin uses the full extent of the rules with his transfer into the Jerk, keeping as much oscillation on the bar from the ascent of the clean before scissoring down under the bar to receive the jerk. Its legal because its not ‘adding’ anything to the bar but like we will see in the 105kg class with Andrei Aramnau, it doesn’t separate the two lifts like some coaches have their lifters do.

At the World’s in Paris, Ilin won the Gold with lifts of 181/226. Since his win in Beijing his training had taken a back seat but he is back to fine form. At the Kazahkstan Nationals he C&J 230kg. His rivalry for a second consecutive Gold will come from the two Ivanov’s, Artem from the Ukraine and Alexandr of Russia as well as Saeid Mohammadpourkarkaragh from Iran. The Ukrainian equalled Ilin’s 407kg in Paris but lost on bodyweight count back. Ilin is not as strong in the snatch but his Clean and Jerk is awesome. The most recent developments are that the Iranian went 182/226 at the Iranian Nationals which is a 6kg improvement from the World’s and would have won the Gold there. Artem Ivanov went 190/230 for unofficial world records in the snatch and total at a Ukrainian meet. Alexandr went 185/226 at the Russian Nationals in the first week of June.

The World record in the snatch is in play here at just 188kg. Anatoli Ciricu won the Europeans with 178/224, Total 402kg and is a medal chance.

TIP: A classic battle between Ilin, the two Ivanov’s and the Iranian (can you handle the illiteration?). Coaching and ballsiness will determine the medals. Do not miss the A session because someone could go from fourth to first in one lift..

Men’s 85kg class. Records 187/218 Total 394kg

At the 2008 Games, Belarus’ Andrei Rybakou was awarded Silver on bodyweight after totalling the same as winner Yong Lu. Rybakou is the record holder in the Snatch with 187kg but has a notoriously poor Clean and Jerk. He actually lifted in the B session at the World’s in Paris and had the highest snatch in the class with 178kg but finished 7th overall. The winner in Paris was 20 year old Kianoush Rostami who went 173/209. He just went 171/210 at the Iranian Nationals but only placed second behind countryman Moradi Sohrab who lifted 173/216. At the Asian Games in April Sohrab went 172/216 so you know he’s consistent right now and Rostami went 172/211.

Don’t count out Yong Lu. He bombed in Paris after a 170kg Snatch but he will need some good training in the lead up. Didier Hennequin was the home town hero who came within 1kg of taking the World’s in Paris and to flavour the mix, Zielinski from Poland and Kireev from Russia are also genuine medal contenders. Hennequin lifted in the 94kg class at the French Nationals this year but he was clearly just in training mode at 88kg bodyweight.

TIP: A win for Iran and the Clean and Jerk record on the chopping block. Rostami attempted 218kg in Paris but missed the jerk. The Iranians are on the rise and Sohrab has to be the slight favourite due to consistency over Rostami.

16 thoughts on “2012 Olympics — Lifting Preview

  1. Sweet piece. I always love the competition coverage.

    USAPL members – I gotta a somewhat random question. I’m about to buy wrist wraps for occasional training use, but since I plan to do a USAPL meet eventually, I want to get ones that are legal. However, I’m hearing different things about what constitutes “legal” for USAPL.

    First: The USAPL lifter’s handbook (usapowerlifting.com/lifterscorner/USAPLHandbook2.pdf) says nothing about specific brands, just that the wraps gotta be less than a meter long and 8 cm. wide. Ok, simple enough.

    But…the IPF has an “Approved List of Apparel…” (http://www.powerlifting-ipf.com/17.html) which stipulates that only specific brands on this list can be used, and it applies to “applies to all championships and records, from Local to World.” And of course, the brand I want isn’t on there. For wrist wraps, it’s only Titan, Inzer, and Metal . And I just want to use some shitty $12 Rogue wraps.

    I go to the USAPL Facebook page and I ask – does the IPF Approved List apply to local, state USAPL meets? And the page owner says, yes, the approved list applies to all levels. Fuck.

    So, USAPL members – what actually happens at gear checks for local meets? Do they give a shit what brand your gear is, or if it just adheres to the rules in the USAPL handbook?

  2. Yes, they care. I’ve seen the ones that are relabeled by someone other than Inzer get denied, even though the rulebook is a bit vague when it comes to raw lifters using wraps and they’re exactly the same.
    Get Titan or Inzer and avoid the hassle. I have 2 pairs of Titans (Titanium for me, Red Devils for the lady friend) and have been happy with them, though the Titaniums have been fraying a bit due to the aggressive velcro. The Inzer black/red ones are awesome, too.
    Tip: The best place IMO to get Titan gear is from liftinglarge.com. Excellent prices, shipping, and service.

  3. dont count out dolega in 105’s. I think klokov was very conservative in the worlds and that it will be awesome to see if either of them really opens up, but it entirely depends on making the initial lifts.
    for the 94s, I am not so sure ilya has it in the bag. He is my favorite and a monster but with stricter judging, he would not have won in paris. Also, I think it will more than anything be a tactical battle and one potentially won on bodyweight. For the 85s I definitely agree that the iranians have a good chance to kick some ass but I wouldnt count out lu yong. Didier Henriquen? Benjamin henriquen? same thing>?

  4. dang, no mention at all of Dolega in 105’s?

    granted he’s coming back from a shoulder/elbow repair (i forget which) and seems to be somewhat older, but don’t be surprised to see him right there in the running with the Russians.

    Poland doesn’t really have any noteworthy 94’s since Kolecki, who was cut from the national scholarship program this year without any mention of it to him, a shoddy way to treat the Champion and WR holder. Kolecki vows to come back for Rio 2016, no matter what it takes. I think it might be too little too late, but would love to see him make the comeback. Rumor also had it that Kolecki has been helping Ilin.

    Zielinski could be a real competitor in 85’s, he is the 2010 world champ after all. His longtime coach tragically died last year, and he was understandably in a rut, not doing as well as he is capable at 2011 worlds. Kolecki was seen helping to coach him at the Polish Nationals this year, perhaps some of his greatness will rub off.

  5. honorable mention: Janos Baranyai, 85kg from Hungary. AKA the guy who spectacularly destroyed his elbow in Beijing, has been making a comeback and surpassed his previous numbers. He probably won’t be competitive for the podium, but he has some solid lifting, and everyone loves a comeback story. He also has the olympic rings tattooed on his bad elbow.

  6. I don’t know anything about olympic lifting other than the posts I’ve read on this site, but it seems like Ilin catches the bar a little higher up in his stance than all of the others.

    @Gumbo I’ve done two USAPL meets. Each was run by the same guy, but the person checking gear was different both times. It seems like there is some variation in how strict they are. One time the guy didn’t really even look at my stuff, the next time the new guy checked it all very carefully. I asked a similar question about footwear for deadlifts. I wanted to wear slippers but wanted to make sure they were approved. I emailed the meet director before buying them and got a similar answer to what you got on facebook. The guy just answered “Yes” even though it wasn’t exactly a yes or no question. I went ahead and bought the slippers that were advertised “IPF/USAPL” approved and had no issue on meet day. It seems to me in my limited engagement in the sport that powerlifting is still goign through it’s wild west days. The rules–all the way from equipment, to judging, to how the meets are structured and run–are based somewhat on which sherif is on duty, rather than universal standards. I find that frustrating, but to be expected in such an uncommon sport.

  7. In weightlifting the rule is- you must lift the barbell- In all seriousness, the more I think about it, the more dolega seems like a darkhorse who with the right lift selection could crush

  8. This stream of the USA lifting team is sort of like watching a scary movie. There is that eerie feedback noise from the camera or whatever interspersed with the booming, deep voice of Glenn saying things like “from the hang!” and “Potatoes!” It reminds me of the movie “Saw.” I can imagine Glenn saying “I want to play a game…guess what happens if you lose…”

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  10. Maslow, thanks. Competition isn’t my biggest priority, but I didn’t want to buy gear that wouldn’t be legal for USAPL down the road.

    It’s a shame to hear that USAPL is inconsistent, but I imagine the local meets are all volunteer run basically, so I guess you can’t be too hard on them.

    Are you going to any meets this year? I’m thinking about the October Virginia State meet.

  11. I was also looking at that Virginia meet, but I’m getting married/goign on vacation two weeks before then, so it’s not going to work out. I think I’ll do a meet in either December or some time early next year.

  12. any word on the rumor that Ilin is ‘injured’ and can’t compete?

    Also I’ve been following videos of Hysen Pulaku’s training for some time now, and he is definitely going to put on a great show with the 77s.

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