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.