The Men’s side of the competition didn’t quite live up to the Women’s side; we missed out on seeing some of the big names lift but the meet was not without some amazing performances, records and legends in the making.
My Tip: Jingbao Wu, and if not him, then whoever the Chinese team fielded.
Result: Well wasn’t I wrong on this one. Whilst Wu went 133/156, close to his World Championship numbers, North Korea’s Yun Chol Um lifting in the B session and put up one of the rarest feats in Weightlifting….. a triple body weight C&J and a total to actually take the gold from the B session.
Um’s lift of 168kg puts him in a class with only 4 others Suleymanoglu, Topurov, Long and Mutlu. He was quoted as saying that the Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il was watching over him.
My Tip, Un Guk Kim from North Korea.
Result: Un Guk Kim took an 8kg advantage into the C&J and ended up winning comfortably by 10kg. His 153kg snatch is a new Olympic record.
The North Koreans were 2 from 2 after this class in the men’s side of the competition. I said in my preview that they lift like its life or death …. Perhaps it is, the Chinese did not enter a lifter in this class and one wonders if North Korean will continue to dominate into the future.
My Tip: A close battle between Binay, Tang, Oleg Chen or whoever else the Chinese send.
Result: Qingfeng Lin, off the back of a huge snatch of 157kg won by 11kg and this was never a close contest. Lin did not even lift at the Worlds last year, but his total would have won gold there too by 2kg. It goes to show the depth that the Chinese have in this class. They own it, but I said that about the 56kg class too. If they could send a bigger team though they could win all 3 medals in this class.
My Tip: Lu Xiaojun
Result: I predicted a close battle between Lu, team mate Lu Haojie and 2008 gold medallist Sa Jae-Hyouk. Lu Xiaojun ended up being the last man standing as Jae-Hyouk subluxed his elbow in the snatch and Haojie was barely got his only C&J attempt in to secure the silver for a China 1-2. Lu Xiaojun did deliver however. Whilst the C&J World Record was the one I thought would go he actually came out and broke the Snatch WR with a 175kg lift that pretty much made him untouchable from there. One wonders what he could have totalled if pushed as he ‘only’ C&J 204kg and did not attempt at the full slate of world marks. Those numbers he may go for to keep himself interested in the next year or so.
One of the nuggets of controversy to come from this class was that Hysen Pulaku, the Albanian who has been lifting under the coaching of Ivan Abajaev in the US tested positive for Stanozolol before the competition and is now banned for what could be 4 years…. Putting him out of the 2016 games as well.
My Tip: A win for Iran, either Rostami or Sohrab winning out in a very competitive class.
Results: Rostami won in Paris with a 382kg total Adrian Zielinski was 3rd there with 376kg and Russia’s Apti Aukhadov was 5th with 370kg. In London there were major bomb outs by WR holder in the Snatch Andrei Rybakou, 2008 gold medallist Yong Lu, Benjamin Hennequin and Sourab Moradi.
Rostami could only manage 380kg in London whilst Zielinski and Aukhadov went lift for lift and finished with 385kg each, Zielinksi winning on bodyweight in a major boil over. Yong was ahead by 4kg coming into the C&J but failed to lift his opener 3 times @ 204kg and was out. He must be kicking himself. Zielinski was at his limit and Yong needed only 208kg to take the gold for a second time.
Few male lifters delivered beyond their billing but one of them was 2008 gold medallist from Kazakhstan Ilya Ilyin.
Ilyin’s WR total of 418kg would have taken gold in the 105kg class in London too and it was off the back of his WR C&J of 233kg. He beat Alexandr Ivanov by 9kg despite being in a three way tie exiting the snatch.
Ilyin delivered on his World Championship form and excellent training vid uploads, he looks like a fun lifter to be around, has personality and brings a breathe of fresh air to OL. He is only 24 years old and has a great shot if he wants it, to be a 3 time gold medallist.
My Tip: An epic battle continuing from Paris between the two Russians.
Result: Well, what can we say about this class. It was meant to be all about the two Russians, Klokov and Akkaev. In the few days before the meet it is reported that Klokov is out with an injury and Akkaev had to have back surgery. Rumours of course immediate sprout up that they each failed internal drug tests. Akkaev’s story does sound like it checks out as various sources have mentioned its authenticity but the result, no matter what the reason, was that the lifting community was deprived of a great battle.
One wonders what David Benjanyan is thinking, another Russian 105kg lifter who set the WR in the C&J at the end of last year.
The Ukraine’s Oleksiy Torokhtiy is NOT a nobody. He went 185/227 to take the gold in London by 1kg which is an improvement on his 3rd placing in last year’s world’s where he went 181/229. Everyone no doubt feels cheated out of a great spectacle, Klokov and Akkaev obvious will feel like they missed out on something too.
PED use in weightlifting is of course rife, as a spectator we have to acknowledge ANYONE who can put up great performances and NOT test positive. There must be a special ability to manage this which I have to admit I am completely ignorant of. Discussion over this topic area is for another time but the main thing about the sport is… lift the most and pass a drug test.
My Tip: Behdad Salimikordasiabi
Result: a 1-2 team finish with Salimi and Anoushiravani the other Iranian. I was hoping that Albegov would give them a good conest and he did through the snatch, Albegov and Salimi both snatching 208kg. In the C&J though 240kg was the best Albegov could muster, below his best and he finshed with bronze.
We were hoping to see Salmi pushed to some big numbers in the C&J and he gave a half-hearted attempt at 264kg but didn’t catch it. One wonders what would have happened if he had to do it for gold.
I hope that this develops into a rivalry at upcoming international meets. These guys have big futures hopefully.
Australia’s Damon Kelly finished 16th with 165/216. These numbers were up from last year’s World Championships where he went 160/200 but down on his 172/218 that he lifted in the Oceania Championships. In Beijing he went 165/221 and finished 9th. The elusive 500lb C&J seems to be out of reach.