Competition Reports

The 2013 Asian Weightlifting Championships: The men

The 2013 Asian Weightlifting Championships

Astana, Kazakhstan

June 20-26, 2013

Andrew Charniga, Jr.

Sportivny Press©

 

The Men

HUANG Minhao (CHN) split – sqaut jerk technique. Charniga photos.

 

56 kg class

Athlete

Nat

Bdywt

S

J

Total

London total

  • OM Yun Chol

PRK

55.70

126

160

286

293

  • TUAN Thach Kim

VIE

55.70

125

156

281

  • TOAN Tran Le Quoc

VIE

55.70

120

255

275

284

 

This class featured the 2012 Olympic champion OM Yun Chol (PRK) and the fourth place finisher in London TOAN Tran Le Quoc (VIE). OM Yun Chol (PRK) equaled the world record in the clean and jerk with 168 kg in London. This 300% of bodyweight lift was the first since the 2009 Chinese National Games when LONG Qingquan (CHN) made 169 kg, which was the only 300% lift since Mutlu (2001) set the previous record 168/300% lift. Before that the last triple bodyweight lift was Suleymanoglu’s 190 kg lift at the 1988 Olympics. Counting only the lifts which were accepted under the conditions of the day or otherwise under the auspices of modern testing protocols, six lifters have lifted 300% of bodyweight. OM Yun Chol (PRK) is the latest and only active lifter to have accomplished such an extraordinary feat.

 

OM Yun Chol (PRK) and TUAN Thach Kim (VIE). Charniga photos.

TOAN Tran Le Quoc (VIE) was the first of the top three out with 120 kg. He dragged it to just over his head without locking it out. He repeated with this weight, pulled longer, sat low and held it briefly before dropping the weight in front. Fortunately, the third with 120 was near perfect so he stayed in the competition. OM Yun Chol (PRK) hopped explosively forward and very low with his opening 122.

TUAN Thach Kim (VIE) and OM Yun Chol (PRK). Charniga photos

TUAN Thach Kim (VIE) had 125 up briefly then dropped it behind. His 2nd with this weight was a much better effort and needed only a step forward. OM Yun Chol (PRK) hopped too far forward under his 2nd at 126 to drop it behind. He nailed his 3rd with 126 bouncing perfectly from a low squat in one movement. TUAN Thach Kim (VIE) went to 127 just enough for the gold in the snatch. He had it up easily, started to stand then decided to sit back down and lost it.

TUAN Thach Kim (VIE) came out first with 151 kg. He made an easy smooth clean and strong jerk with a rather wide hand spacing. TOAN Tran Le Quoc (VIE) made a wide hand spacing jerk with 155 kg. TUAN Thach Kim (VIE) made another good but shaky jerk with 156 to move into first in the clean and jerk. TOAN Tran Le Quoc (VIE) was unable to stand with his third at 157 kg.

One hundred sixty kilos brought out the Olympic champion. OM Yun Chol (PRK) who slowly dragged the weight up only to go under it in a flash. He did an explosive very wide split in the jerk for a good lift. TUAN Thach Kim (VIE) went to 161 kg (288% of bodyweight) for gold in the jerk. He pulled it to his chest but the weight just buried him in the low squat.

With the gold in hand OM Yun Chol (PRK) jumped to the world record equaling 169 kg or 302% of bodyweight. With only about 50 people in the whole arena, no one seemed particularly excited about this upcoming extraordinary athletic feat. OM dragged this huge mass slowly as if he were standing in sand; he dropped under very fast and stood with a facial expression of both pain and strain. He paused briefly, jerked it, but he could not lock the weight overhead. Back on the platform after only a minute’s rest and the announcer’s effort to get the few people in attendance excited about the lift, OM made another sand box pull, hopped forward under it, paused before grinding out of the low squat. This time the jerk was close but still a little forward.

OM Yun Chol (PRK). Charniga photos.

A fractional shifting forward in the starting position of the jerk, and, of course, the half squat gets magnified with such a huge weight relative to the athlete’s body mass. The jerk from the chest is the most difficult part of weightlifting because a high skill movement follows the strain of lifting to a standing position. This skill to jerk the barbell under these conditions is all too often lost; it is not given its proper perspective when so many of today’s athletes do many supplementary exercises of questionable value which do not replicate (which is sometimes called specificity) the actual conditions in competition.

This was another class in which a PRK lifter and gold medalist went for maximum results.

62 kg class

Athlete

Nat

Bdywt

S

J

Total

London total

  • KIM Um Guk

PRK

61.85

145

170

315

327

  • Kharki Farkhat

KAZ

61.50

138

165

303

  • HUANG Minhao

CHN

61.85

140

158

298

 

The current Olympic champion KIM Um Guk (PRK) and possible Olympic champion to be in RIO Kharki Farkhat (KAZ) and HUANG Minhao (CHN) were the three favorites in this class.

KIM Um Guk (PRK) and Kharki Farkhat (KAZ). Charniga photos.

The first up was Kharki Farkhat (KAZ) with 130 kg. This was an easy hop back sink low lift. Twenty one year old HUANG Minhao (CHN) made an easy 134 but did not bottom out in the squat. Kharki Farkhat (KAZ) made a very smooth efficient lift with the same weight for his 2nd. HUANG Minhao (CHN) made another hop back smooth lift with 138. Kharki Farkhat (KAZ), who was lighter than HUANG, took the same weight. Kharki Farkhat (KAZ) hopped back, sank low and started to rise too soon. His heels came up which made him run forward to save the weight. HUANG Minhao (CHN) went to 140 kg to move into first in the snatch. These guys knew they were actually fighting for silver and bronze because KIM Um Guk (PRK) had a 145 kg opener.

LI Chunsheng (CHN) and Kharki Farkhat (KAZ). Charniga photos.

HUANG’s ankle flexibility hindered his ability to settle into a stable low squat; consequently, when he sank low for the 140, he almost lost it behind by relaxing his hips. But a step forward saved the lift and he was now in first. The 2012 Olympic and 2011 world champion KIM Um Guk (PRK) opened with 145 kg. In London he equaled SHI Zhiyong’s world record of 153 kg. Sporting huge (for a 62 kg weightlifter) arms and shoulders, his bodybuilder’s physique does not affect his flexibility, but this excessive upper body mass and strength can get in the way. He muscled the weight up with a hop forward but did not lock it out on straight arms, so the barbell dropped in front.

KIM Um Guk (PRK) took 145 again. He pulled fast, hopped forward, sank very low and muscled the weight back for a good lift. He then breathed an obvious sigh of relief. Apparently sticking to the plan and at the same time endeavoring to bury his two closest competitors, KIM went to the near world record weight of 152 kg. KIM, lifting alone, obviously followed himself. He approached the barbell with 1:27 remaining on the clock, typical for an athlete with the modern endurance in weightlifting sport;  it is atypical of someone with a low level of endurance who would have made multiple changes of the barbell to buy more rest time. This time he hopped forward sank extremely low with the weight firmly locked overhead and seemed to have it for a second but the weight shifted forward for a miss. Nevertheless after the snatch, KIM was up 5 kg on HUANG and 7 kg on Kharki.

HUANG Minhao (CHN) was up first with 158 kg. A good clean followed by a step forward, HUANG paused for several seconds while he moved his hands out wider on the bar. The subsequent jerk was up but forward. Following himself with the same weight, he made a better clean, adjusted his hands faster and jerked the barbell. Unfortunately, the weight drifted forward while HUANG was in the split position. The barbell would have dropped in front had not HUANG decided to invent a new technique for just such an occasion. He stepped forward with his back foot to bring it in line with the foot placed forward in the split, then he sank into a low squat to gain control over the barbell before carefully standing with it, all the while with the barbell held on straight arms.

HUANG Minhao (CHN) cleaned 163 with a struggle, jerked the barbell to arms  length but no acrobatics saved this as it dropped immediately. Kharki Farkhat (KAZ) opened with 165 kg. A pulled back, hopped back clean, which dropped on him, was followed by a strong squat jerk. Kharki does not just drop under the bar; he actively uses his feet in the squat under for the jerk so the lift is much more secure, even if still precarious.

KIM Um Guk (PRK) started with 170 kg. A strong clean and muscled up jerk gave him a commanding lead for the gold. The other Chinese entry in this class LI Chunsheng (CHN) was unable to shoulder 171 kg after making a very hard 166 kg. KIM Um Guk (PRK) went to 174 to put the finishing touch on his gold medal. His hopped forward clean was acceptable; however, the recovery was a little slow at the top. Between the fatigue of the clean and the big muscled arms getting in the way, the jerk was way forward; it was not even close. KIM dropped to the platform with what was apparently a thigh injury. KIM moved up with weight changes, even though it was obvious he would not return. In the meantime Kharki Farkhat (KAZ) went to 177 to move into 1st place in both jerk and total. The weight was too big a jump and he had waited too long since his last attempt with 165. He could not fix it on his shoulders. To further “ice” Kharki, KIM called for 177 and let the clock run all the way down to 0:09 before passing on this attempt.

Kharki came out for his final attempt looking more determined than his 2nd at 177 kg, but the weight was just too much for him. So, even though the Olympic champion came out on top, it was still a struggle.

69 kg class

Athlete

Nat

Bdywt

S

J

Total

London total

  • Behrouzi Jaber

IRI

68.45

147

176

323

  • ARIANA Ketut

INA

67.90

140

170

310

  • PAN Chien-hung

TPE

68.30

130

173

303

KIM Myong Hyok

PRK

68.60

146

178

329

 

KIM Myong Hyok (PRK), another Olympian (4th in London), was the obvious favorite in this class.  PAN Chien-hung (TPE) opened with a 130 in the snatch. Using a very wide hand spacing, the bar hit his head on the way down. On the next try with this weight he accentuated the squat under by locking his arms for a good lift. Without the same accentuation, PAN clunked his head again on his 3rd with 135 kg.

Behrouzi Jaber (IRI) made his appearance with 140. He did a fast pull with a low squat for a good lift. Behrouzi, like most of the guys on the Iranian team, is not just a good lifter; he is a higher quality athlete in general than most of all the lifters at this competition. ARIANA Ketut (INA) made a hop back very low squat with a wider then normal hand spacing. Not as powerful as Behrouzi but he got the job done. 

 

Behrouzi Jaber (IRI) and KIM Myong Hyok (PRK). Charniga photos.

KIM Myong Hyok (PRK) opened with 145. A powerful pull with a slight hop back and a very low squat, he seemed to have it briefly before letting go and checking his bandaged left hand. Behrouzi Jaber (IRI) exploded 145 kg up; he hopped slightly forward and sank almost to a three point stance for a nice lift. ARIANA Ketut (INA) tried to slowly pull back and hop back for no lift. LIANG Chenxi (CHN) opened with the biggest starting weight 146 kg. He muscled this up like most Chinese men but without a very low squat. Obviously suffering from some distraction due to a callous tear on his left hand KIM Myong Hyok (PRK) repeated his miss with his 2nd at 146 kg. The weight was very manageable but apparently the grip was the problem.

 

ARIANA Ketut (INA) dragged 146 just high enough to clear his head and drop behind. KIM Myong Hyok (PRK) gave his best effort with his 3rd at 146 to no avail and he was out. Behrouzi Jaber (IRI) sank almost to the floor again with his 3rd at 147 kg. He has the skill to give that last little effort to keep sinking to secure the weight up and back.

LIANG Chenxi (CHN) took a small jump to 148 kg for the gold. He unsuccessfully tried to muscle this up laboriously but no go. His third at 148 was the same method with the same result.

 

ARIANA Ketut (INA) and PAN Chien-hung (TPE). Charniga photos.

ARIANA Ketut (INA) took 170 kg for his opener in the jerk. He hauled this weight to his chest but could not rise with it. On the next attempt he managed to stand with the weight but the jerk effort was terrible. Facing elimination ARIANA managed to get it together for a good lift with 170.

PAN Chien-hung (TPE) did a high pull with 173 1st. KIM Myong Hyok (PRK) lifting 174 kg on his 1st, without the tape on his left hand, made an easy hop forward clean and an explosive, wide split jerk. LIANG Chenxi (CHN) followed with 175 kg doing a slow muscled clean and a slow forward jerk for no lift. He dumped the attempt off his chest in the clean with the same weight on his 2nd.

Behrouzi Jaber (IRI) hopped forward with 176 kg, paused to adjust his grip, then performed a half squat jerk to about parallel before losing the weight behind. Following himself at 176, Behrouzi Jaber (IRI) made a good hop forward clean and stopped the squat jerk descent above parallel for a good lift. KIM Myong Hyok (PRK) made another fast clean and the best jerk technique in this class with 178. LIANG Chenxi (CHN) laboriously muscled 178 to his chest but standing with his balance obviously forward, he jerked the weight forward, for no lift.

Behrouzi Jaber (IRI) took a modest jump to 179 to get the gold in the jerk. Wearing lifting shoes made for the 1996 Olympics and discontinued before the 2000 Olympics, a hop forward clean was followed by a pause to adjust the hands wider then a squat jerk to about parallel which he struggled to balance. Behrouzi tried to recover and balance the mass with a step forward, but it eventually drove him to his knees with the bar grazing his right hip as he fell backward. He was lucky not to be seriously injured. Is this squat jerk technique worth the risk and the usual only one good out of three attempts? KIM Myong Hyok (PRK) went to 180 kg. He made another fast clean and wide split in the jerk but could not hold it over head.

Behrouzi Jaber (IRI) became the champion with zeros from the Chinese and PRK who had entry totals of 325 and 340 respectively.

 

77 kg class

Athlete

Nat

Bdywt

S

J

Total

London total

  • Taghian Rasoul

IRI

76.50

163

203

366

  • ZHONG Guoshun

CHN

76.55

160

196

356

  • KIM Kwang Song

PRK

76.70

164

191

355

 

ZHONG Guoshun (CHN) was the first of the favorites in this class out with 153 kg. The weight went right up and right down.

He repeated with this same weight on his 2nd. This time he made a good lift with a small step backward to get his balance which is something you do not see very much anymore. Taghian Rasoul (IRI) opened with a hop forward  and almost power snatch 155 kg. KIM Kwang Song (PRK) made a slight hop forward with a low squat at the same weight. Taghian Rasoul (IRI), another example of a quality athlete from IRI, made a hop forward but not low squat with 160 on his 2nd. Some screw up from the coaches resulted in ZHONG Guoshun (CHN) getting to the barbell with 0:05 seconds on the clock. He started the lift with 0:01 seconds only to demonstrate his high level of psychological stability under difficult circumstances by making a near perfect lift with 160.

KIM Kwang Song (PRK) and Pavlov Kiril (KAZ). Charniga photos.

KIM Kwang Song (PRK) made a slight hop forward 161 on his 2nd. Taghian Rasoul (IRI) went to 163 kg to move into the lead by making it with a bigger hop forward and slight press out. KIM Kwang Song (PRK), displaying less power and better technical preparedness than Taghian, sat almost to the floor with 164 kg to take the gold in the snatch.

ZHONG Guoshun (CHN) andTaghian Rasoul (IRI). Charniga photos.

Out first with 187 in the jerk KIM Kwang Song (PRK) hopped forward, jerked forward to lose it behind. He had to sit and stop at the bottom of the clean on his next with 187, followed by an almost too wide split in the jerk for a good lift. ZHONG Guoshun (CHN) followed his 180 opener with another muscled clean and wide split jerk to move into first place. KIM Kwang Song (PRK) went very low to clean 191 on his 3rd which was followed by an excellent wide split in the jerk. Taghian Rasoul (IRI) made a hop forward clean with 195 kg and without pausing after the recovery, jerked the weight.

ZHONG Guoshun (CHN) muscled 196 to his chest, stopped briefly in the low squat then followed with a wide split, shaky jerk to move into first place in the clean and jerk. Taghian Rasoul (IRI) went to 203, hopped forward only to dump it off his chest. He managed to shoulder this weight on his third; he ground up from the squat and made another no pause jerk for the gold.

 

85 kg class

Athlete

Nat

Bdywt

S

J

Total

London total

  • Moradi Sohrab

IRI

85.00

158

200

358

o

  • Al –Jmali Safaa

IRQ

83.50

156

195

351

345

  • Yevstafaiev Yevgenie

KAZ

84.70

156

185

341

 

Moradi Sohrab (IRI) was back at the Asian championships after an apparent melt down in London where he failed all three snatches. Yevstafaiev Yevgenie (KAZ) sporting a bodybuilder’s upper body muscled his opener at 145 with a hop forward and shallow squat under. He followed this with a fast squat under hop forward 151 on his 2nd.  Al –Jmali Safaa (IRQ) came in at 155 with what looked briefly like a good lift only to drop it behind. The next one with the same weight looked even worse as he did not even get the bar to arm’s length before dropping it front.

Yevstafaiev Yevgenie (KAZ) muscled 156 up for his 3rd to temporarily move into first place in the snatch. Al –Jmali Safaa (IRQ) jumped one kilo for his final attempt to stay in the competition and this time he made sure to sink low and get the bar behind his head securely before standing for a good lift. Moradi Sohrab (IRI) carefully pulled his opening weight of 158 overhead only to let it gradually drop back. His repeat at this weight was up well; he was careful not to let it drop.

From top to bottom: Yevstafaiev Yevgenie (KAZ), Al –Jmali Safaa (IRQ) and Moradi Sohrab (IRI)

Moradi Sohrab (IRI) had to follow Meyermanov Yerbol (KAZ) who had dislocated his elbow with 160 kg. Like his first attempt, he could not get his head together for this 161. The difference between this half  hearted 161 attempt and the 77 kg ZHONG Guoshun (CHN) lift of 160 kg with 0:01 seconds on the clock was like night and day; it was all in the head.

Yevstafaiev Yevgenie (KAZ) was first up in the clean and jerk with 185. This was a hop forward, lean forward to rise in the clean and a jerk forward. He repeated this weight with an even worse clean followed by a press out jerk that should have been but was not turned done. Moradi Sohrab (IRI) took a modest 190 opener with a careful clean and sloppy splot to jerk it. Yevstafaiev Yevgenie (KAZ) made another sloppy hop forward clean, jerked the weight forward; nevertheless, he muscled the barbell to arms length only to be turned down without any obvious infraction.

Al –Jmali Safaa (IRQ) made a very powerful clean with 195 and a forward but good jerk to move into 1st place. Moradi Sohrab (IRI) muscled a slow clean with 200 followed by another sloppy splot jerk to take the lead. Al –Jmali Safaa (IRQ) went to 202 to move ahead of Moradi; he made an energy sapping clean followed by almost no effort to jerk. Following himself he made a more energy efficient clean but jerked the weight too far forward, thus handing the gold to Moradi. This athlete deserves a lot of credit because he must train under what has to be challenging conditions, yet here he was fighting for a continental championship.

94 kg class

Athlete

Nat

Bdywt

S

J

Total

London total

  • Zaichikov Alexandr

KAZ

93.45

175

210

385

360 (94.74 kg)

  • ZHANG Shengguo

CHN

93.45

168

206

374

  • Bagheri Yasin

IRI

93.60

161

201

362

 

Bagheri Yasin (IRI) opened with a hop forward drop forward 161. His next attempt with the same weight looked just like the first hop forward,  but he sank into a low squat to save the lift. ZHANG Shengguo (CHN) made 168 on his 1st with feet staying in line from the start. Zaichikov Alexandr (KAZ) did a pull forward, hop forward, lean forward 168 on his 1st. He went to 173 on his next and this time sinking into a low squat with his collar to collar grip. ZHANG Shengguo (CHN) had 174 up and locked out on his 2nd but it drifted backwards. He made the same mistake on his 3rd with this weight so he was credited with 168. Zaichikov Alexandr (KAZ) did another pull forward, hop forward, lean way forward recovery almost miss, with 175 as the announcer called out in Russian “way to go Sasha.”

ZHANG Shengguo (CHN) and Zaichikov Alexandr (KAZ). Charniga photos.

After the snatch Zaichikov Alexandr (KAZ) had a fairly commanding lead so he was able to take conservative weights in the clean and jerk. ZHANG Shengguo (CHN) opened with an easy 196 and jerked with a high split position. With no time on the clock and the buzzer ringing, Bagheri Yasin (IRI) hopped forward and dumped his opening 201 kg. Bagheri Yasin (IRI) hopped forward with this weight on his next, recovered to jerk it forward while managing to shift the barbell back behind his head. Zaichikov Alexandr (KAZ) hopped forward about 8 cm with his opening 205 kg. He jerked it forward for a good lift. ZHANG Shengguo (CHN) went to 206 kg. This was another no foot movement clean and a muscled up shallow split jerk. Zaichikov Alexandr (KAZ) now wanted 210. Another big hop forward was followed by a strong jerk.

Bagheri Yasin (IRI) and Zaichikov Alexandr (KAZ). Charniga photos.

ZHANG Shengguo (CHN) went to 211 for the gold in the jerk. He was unable to recover from the squat after a hard pull to the chest. Bagheri Yasin (IRI) was out to give 214 a shot. He made a slow pull a big hop forward and ground slowly out of the squat. He jerked the weight to arms length but it was way forward. Zaichikov Alexandr (KAZ) went to 215 kg to put the icing on his cake. This weight was too heavy to pull forward and jump forward, so it fell off his chest.

 

105 kg class

Athlete

Nat

Bdywt

S

J

Total

London total

  • Nurudinov Ruslan

UZB

103.70

190

230

420

404

  • Bahram Zadeh Mohsen

IRI

103.85

185

205

390

  • Ghadami Kia

IRI

103.55

174

205

379

 

Ghadami Kia (IRI) was the first to appear in the snatch with 168. He let the weight drift forward in the pull and had to sit in the low squat for several seconds before recovering. He made a better, faster lift with his 2nd at 174 displaying flexibility over power. Bahram Zadeh Mohsen (IRI) raised his opener 175 with a collar to collar grip, almost catching it in a half squat. Other than some facial hair, the Iranian lifters in general sport a clean cut appearance with rather short hair, otherwise clean shaven; there were no tattoos and ear buds with music players here, just professionals ready to lift big weights. Ghadami Kia (IRI) went to 179 kg on his 3rd. He shifted the weight back in the low squat, but it continued to drift out of control.

 

Nurudinov Ruslan (UZB) and Bahram Zadeh Mohsen (IRI). Charniga photos.

Nurudinov Ruslan (UZB) was the last to appear with 185 kg. An excellent technician, he pulled back, hopped back and recovered all in one motion. Bahram Zadeh Mohsen (IRI) made a slow, but successful, hop slightly forward lift with 185 to pull even with Nurudinov. One hundred eighty eight was missed as it was just too slow for his 3rd even though he managed to get it to arms  length. Nurudinov Ruslan (UZB) made another smooth hop back lift with his 2nd at 190. Now Nurudinov Ruslan (UZB) decided to eclipse the Asian record with 196 kg. He did not get the barbell to arms  length even though he managed to get the barbell moving fast enough.

Ghadami Kia (IRI) and Nurudinov Ruslan (UZB). Charniga photos.

 

Ghadami Kia (IRI) pulled his opener in the jerk with 205 forward and hopped forward, but the barbell was too far in front for him to fix it to his chest. Bahram Zadeh Mohsen (IRI) took the same weight hopping forward, leaning forward in the recovery, before jerking forward for no lift. Ghadami Kia (IRI) managed to shift the 205 kg barbell back far enough to get it to his chest on his 2nd, following this with a very powerful but shallow split jerk. Bahram Zadeh Mohsen (IRI) muscled 205 to his chest with a hop forward only to fail to rise from the squat. He got his act together on his third attempt with 205 by jerking forward and splitting shallow for a good lift. Ghadami Kia (IRI) went to 216 for his third attempt. It was just too heavy for him to shoulder.

 

Nurudinov Ruslan (UZB) opened after everyone had finished with a very smooth slight hop forward clean with 220 kg followed by an easy jerk from the fingertips. He went to 230 for his 2nd. Again, he made another smooth, feet remaining in the same line clean; it was not  perfect technique; nevertheless, it was a very good jerk.

 

+105 kg class

Athlete

Nat

Bdywt

S

J

Total

London total

  • Sharif Rashid

IRI

140.50

191

226

417

  • CHEN Shih Chieh

TPE

145.35

180

233

413

418

  • Bersanov Ibragim

KAZ

113.60

185

217

402

Moulaei Bahador

IRI

130.30

186

233

 

CHEN Shih Chieh (TPE) the heaviest athlete in this session at 145.35 kg opened in the snatch with a hop forward, run forward lift of 170 kg. Bersanov Ibragim (KAZ), only 8 kg into the +105 division, hopped back with 177 and dropped the bar in front. Taking this weight again, he dropped under very fast for a good lift. CHEN Shih Chieh (TPE) hopped forward and turned to his left as he twisted to save the lift during the recovery. Sharif Rashid (IRI), showing good coordination and flexibility for such a big man, (140.50 kg) made 185 with no trouble on his 1st. As subsequent events, two weeks later, would show, Moulaei Bahador (IRI), the most interesting male athlete of this competition seemed to lift 185 easily but he didn’t sink low to secure it; he sort of tried to flip the weight up in a partial power snatch; so the barbell dropped forward. Bersanov Ibragim (KAZ) pulled back, hopped back and sank low for a good 185 on his third.

Sharif Rashid (IRI) and Bersanov Ibragim (KAZ). Charniga photos.

Moulaei Bahador (IRI) moved up one kilo to 186 for his second. This time he did a proper squat snatch, snapping his feet to the side and interacting forcefully as he dropped under the weight. CHEN Shih Chieh (TPE) pulled 186 forward and dropped forward; it was not even close. Sharif Rashid (IRI) hopped forward a little, dropped relatively low for such a big man and used his flexibility to make 191 easily. Moulaei Bahador (IRI) hopped forward and did everything else well except prevent the 191 kg weight from shifting forward, so it was up and down in a flash. Sharif Rashid (IRI) did essentially the same thing as Moulai by letting the bar shift forward for a miss.

CHEN Shih Chieh (TPE) and Moulaei Bahador (IRI). Charniga photos

Bersanov Ibragim (KAZ) made an efficient hop back clean, followed by an efficient jerk with his opener at 210. Bersanov went to 217 with a bigger hop back clean and another good jerk with rear leg bent a little more than the first.  Sharif Rashid (IRI) hopped forward, jerked forward and had to lean forward to make 220 kg. CHEN Shih Chieh (TPE) exploded 221 to his chest with the barbell seeming to oscillate back and forth during the pull. He jerked with a wide but not particularly efficient split. Bersanov Ibragim (KAZ) struggled to shoulder his final attempt such that he had to pause in the squat before grinding up. He seemed to have the weight fixed in the jerk but his bent rear knee, the weak link in this case, kept flexing until he dropped the weight. Sharif Rashid (IRI) pulled forward, hopped forward and jerked forward 226. He jerked it so far forward he should have been unable to hold it over head but he managed to stick his head forward and lean into under it for a good lift.

The 1st weight of Moulaei Bahador (IRI) with 232 kg seemed like a toy in the clean, but he wasted all sorts of energy walking forward and adjusting his grip; nevertheless, the weight shot to arms  length and was so uncoordinated it dropped forward immediately. His second with the same was a repeat of his first. He had to run forward coming out of the squat, adjusted the weight off his fingertips, jerked it with a shallow split, but the weight was moving to his left and down it came. With all of Moulaei’s superfluous motions the barbell gets a life of its own; the oscillations become difficult to control.   

CHEN Shih Chieh (TPE) yanked 233 kg to his chest. The weight started sliding off on the right side of his chest which he could not stop. Moulaei Bahador (IRI) moved up 1 kg to 233. Needing this weight to make a total, Moulaei moved under the weight extremely fast, let alone fast for a big man. Less vibration from the grip adjustment was followed by a powerful jerk with shallow split but the barbell popped out immediately for no lift. CHEN Shih Chieh (TPE) had the final lift at 233 kg. He muscled the weight to his chest, stopped in the squat, stood without much trouble; he jerked it forward such that it would have been a miss for a weaker lifter, but he just muscled himself under the barbell for the gold medal in the jerk.

 

A bad coordination day and another reason Asia is at the forefront

The Russians used to believe it takes upwards of ten years of training to produce a good superheavyweight. One of the reasons for this is it takes time to build a large muscle mass. After the run of gold and along with it the title awarded “The World’s Strongest Man” by the USA with Davis (1948 and 1952) and Anderson (1956) the Russians essentially owned the unlimited weight division, whether it was over 90 kg, 110+ kg, 108+ or the current 105+.

The USSR dominance began with great Yuri Vlasov (1960) who was followed by Leonid Zhabotinsky (1964,1968), Vassily Alexeyev (1972, 1976), Sultan Rakhmanov (1980) and after a boycotted Games Andrei Tchemerkin (1996). The Asian dominance began with Hossein Reza zadeh (IRI) winning 2000 – 2004. It was interrupted in 2008 by Mathias Steiner (GER) and once again returned to Iran in 2102 with Salimkordasiabi Behdad. The best the Russians could do in London was a third by Ruslan Albegov.

What makes Moulaei Bahador (IRI) who made one snatch and no clean and jerks at the Asian championships the most interesting athlete of this competition? He is only 21 years old weighs all of 130 kg of which there is relatively little superfluous bodyfat. He competes in a division where some guys have weighed as much as 185 kg. About two weeks after this competition Moulaei competed head up with Albegov in Kazan at the Universiade. Albegov weighed 155 kg to Moulaei Bahador’s 130 kg.

Moulaei Bahador (IRI). Charniga photo.

Apparently with a different coach attending him in Kazan, Moulaei Bahador’s focus was much improved. Albegov appeared to have assured the gold with a 245 kg clean and jerk. Down 10 kilos to Albegov after making three lifts in the snatch, Moulaei Bahador stunned the Russians by making a 2nd attempt 254 kg clean and jerk. The younger, lighter, more elastic, Moulaei Bahador relied more on elasticity and coordination and less on mind to muscle contraction like the Russian, a product of Soviet era ideas of multiple exercises with multiple repetitions per set. Albegov replied, or a better phrase would be was motivated as much by saving face as the desire to win the gold; by making the same 254 kg.

Moulaei Bahador then went to a world record 264 kg. While Moulaei Bahador stood over the bar the live streaming camera panned the stunned faces of the mostly Russian, but suddenly quiet, audience. The camera also caught the warm up room area where, some minutes after his attempt with 254 kg, Albegov could be seen on his knees hunched over as his coach fanned with a towel to cool him off (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUuO88ai15E).

Is this the state of Russian weightlifting?

Moulaei did not succeed in lifting the 264 kg, but the 25 kg lighter, younger athlete who had competed in the Asian championships just two weeks earlier, briefly had the Russian lifter on the ropes. This had to be all the more of a shock to the Russians, because Moulaei was at best a third ranked +105 on the Iranian team, as the two medalists from London were not in Kazan. 

 

 

 

 

 

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