Competition Reports

2019 World Weightlifting Chps.

2019 World Weightlifting Chps.

Andrew Charniga

The 2019 WWC were held on the Olympic training center stadium in the resort city of Pattaya; with competition and training hall located in close proximity in the same building. An excellent set up but without any Thai lifters there was less than no audience; if that is possible. All in all a well run competition with excellent facilities.  

State of the sport.

With too many weight classes coupled with, at this competition, qualifying totals that were too low; the current state of affairs is not the best. Too many athletes of lower level qualification entered;  bit of a playground in the training hall.

But, not so the countries with enforced discipline like China and North Korea. Their girls are not training in short tight pants and the like. They separate the sexes. They wear tights and other appropriate apparel suitable for serious work. This discipline shows in the results; they are more focused; they make more attempts; lift heavier weights.

With so many obviously inexperienced coaches you see a lot people training for training and not necessarily for competitions. Not many full lifts with heavy weights; a lot pulls, squats, presses; deadlifts and the like.

One issue that does not seem to get much attention is the heavy knee wrapping some athletes apply, especially those from Latin America where there are Cuban coaches. The constriction of mobility has to counteract any perceived benefit. Many of these lifters are unable to drop low in the squat which: 1/ makes it necessary to lift the weight higher;  2/ places more strain on joints not less; 3/ raises center of mass, a negative for balance. 

Watching one of Talakhadze’s workouts where he snatched 190; jerked 210; finishing with squat at 255 for sets of three. This recalled Roman’s 1968 book Weightlifting. Roman described the squat as a technique exercise for the clean and jerk. Performed fast for low repetitions with heel raise at end of each lift; the weights used are close to the maximum jerk. Consequently, the carry over to classic lifts would be high.

Medvedyev introduced the idea of using the maximum squat result as the point of reference for squat training; whereas Roman the max clean and jerk.

The practical difference is that by using Roman’s method (weights near max C&J) you are performing a more dynamic movement consistent in rhythm and coordination with the C&J; whereas with the Medvedyev’s idea people tend to get carried away with bigger weights, making the squat further removed in dynamic structure form the classic exercises. See for instance the results of USA lifters with big squats.

Apparently, the team here that spent the most money including a training camp in Japan had a rather low success rate of around 50%; some of their totals were 12 and 15 kg below what were declared for them. The gratuitous money spent on sending a team to Japan before the meet to prepare; should raise eyebrows.

Under the current circumstances an asterisk needs to appear at the end of every weight class report. That being said, the best performance at these championships was the world records of OM PRK who jerked 166 kg – 302% of bodyweight; after missing 163. Few present understood the significance of this feat.

OM is the greatest clean and jerker in history of the sport with multiple 300% lifts over seven years; now at a new lighter bodyweight; with this caveat, under modern testing. Om has been jerking 300% since London where he did 168 at 56 kg; tested at 2012 technology, re – tested in 2016; Houston and RIO. Not one of the lifters who jerked 300% up until the end of the 1980s could hope to equal this feat.

Something else to consider: the world’s strongest man made a two lift total of 484 kg at 168.65 or 287% of bodyweight. Om lifted 302% of bodyweight in the clean and jerk.

The situation with Rostami in the 96 class competition was a clear message of a major problem with the sport: too many officials, no accountability, inefficient competition protocols. There is no excuse for the inability of 20 plus officials to get the right lifters on the platform in the right order at the right time. Thanks to lack of accountability of so many officials overseeing only 10 – 11 lifters in a session; an Olympic champion lucky to avoid serious injury, may lose his chance to repeat.

If the technical people insist on the numbers and protocols they need appoint CEO or manager, whatever you want to call it, for each session. This person would recognize an error regardless of fault; stop arguments let a lifter already called to the platform take the lift regardless of the order; and sort it out later.

The person for such a position at each session has to be a ‘can do’ type to quickly wade through the chaos these situations create and find a solution.

The behavior of the two US coaches are an embarrassment.

They are at their nonsensically irritating worst when they make two jumps starting with the first attempt. That works well for the lifter right? The efficacy of this inanity were the 12 missed opening attempts after all those changes of weight.

Some of this jumping is with the 1st attempt of a session. The audience, lifters and coaches waiting for the clock to wind down to start a session have to wait some more; because the clock starts for the US lifter who is taking the 1st attempt of the session. The coaches wait long enough to waste everyone’s time when they change the weight after the US lifter is called and clock has started. The excessive change of weight simply demonstrates the changers are unable to make reasonable selections.

The PRK female KIM Un Ju who missed her last C&J has come back a long way after sitting out four years; positive at 2014 WWC. She jerked 164 @75 kg; at the 2014 Asian Games.

This 87 kg class is a perfect example of why this weight class and 81 are really a waste. KIM was very lean and extraordinarily flexible at 75. At 87 she carries too much body fat. By contrast the Chinese WANG who beat her; is up from 69; but, just over the limit (83.50 kg) is very lean; slowed a little with extra mass; but still quick. These heavier classes are just excess body fat classes for women. The body mass point of diminishing returns begins probably in the low 70 kgs bodyweight for most female lifters.

The athletes with the most at stake typically are the most serious and the results speak for themselves. The lifters from the socialist countries are the most disciplined. Nothing new about that. But there are other mitigating factors as well. For instance, Leidy Solis (COL) is a single parent. Serious business to support yourself and a child from weightlifting in Colombia.

The Women

45 kg

Erdogan Saziye (TUR) 169 (376% of bdwt.); Montero Ludia (CUB) 167 (371% of bdwt.); Setiawati Lisa (INA) 165 (367% of bdwt.)

Vuong Huyen (VIE.) Charniga photo.

The jury is still out on this new class. The totals were off significantly from last year’s medalists. With a lot of misses, no one really stood out. Recruiting athletes for this class and more importantly how to train lifters for this bodyweight remains to be seen. Generally the lighter lifters raise more weight relative to their bodyweight than heavier lifters. The PRK’s OM raised 302% of bodyweight in the clean and jerk to Talakhadze’s 264 which was 157% of bodyweight. In this particular class the winning total was 376% whereas in the next heavier class it was 432%, a relatively huge discrepancy.

49 kg

JIANG Huihua (CHN) 212 (432% of bdwt.); HOU Zhihui (CHN) 211(430%); RI Song GUM (PRK) 204 (416%)

HOU Zhihui (CHN) muscled up 89 without bottoming out. Keeping her feet in line just moving them to the side JIANG Huihua (CHN) squatted low with the same weight. RI Song GUM (PRK) pulled up the same 89 without effort to re – arrange her feet only to drop it in front. She made a much better effort to shift her feet to the side and back slightly to fix the 89 on her 2nd. JIANG Huihua (CHN) pulled in 92 smoothly sitting very low on her 2nd. RI Song GUM (PRK) kept pulling and pulling neglecting to switch effort to receiving the weight for a miss at 92. HOU Zhihui (CHN) pulled long with 94; sitting a little lower this time. JIANG Huihua (CHN) made another smooth lift sitting very low with her 3rd at 97. HOU Zhihui (CHN) pulled long throwing her head back at the top only to throw 97 behind.

Diaz Hidilyn (PHI). Charniga photo

HOU Zhihui (CHN) pulled very long sitting with little movement of her feet to muscle clean 110; jerked it using a lot arm power. Likewise slow and mechanical in clean JIANG Huihua (CHN) jerked 110 a with a little better technique; but not much.

RI Song GUM (PRK) hopped back slightly and rounded her back to clean 115. She tried to press it up and split at the same time which can’t work. She took the same weight again this time making a proper jerk with the legs, by accentuating scissoring.

HOU Zhihui (CHN) took a big six kg jump to 116 muscling the clean then a terrible muscle effort with arms to jerk for no lift.  JIANG Huihua (CHN) collapsed under 117 struggling to stand which ruined her coordination; lost the bar behind. HOU Zhihui (CHN) dragged 117 to her chest followed by a terrible, arms press, slow split jerk for one red. RI Song GUM (PRK) pulling too long could not shoulder 118. JIANG Huihua (CHN) struggled to clean 118; re – grouped well enough to jerk fast with her legs; not with her arms.

The Chinese obviously do a lot of pressing and other upper body exercises with the women which: 1/ makes them a little top heavy (high center of mass); 2/ press up in the jerk; 3/ would making weight more of a challenge reducing with unnecessary muscle mass.

55 kg

LIAO Qiuyun (CHN) 227 (412% of bdwt.); ZHANG Wanqiong (CHN) 222 (403%); DIAZ Hildan (PHI) 214 (389%)

DIAZ Hildan (PHI) found herself buried in eight place after nearly bombing in the snatch with 93. Former world champion Chinshanlo (KAZ) was slow and mechanical with 90 before losing 95 behind. LIAO Qiuyun (CHN) pulled long sitting passively for no lift with 95. She hopped back next time forcing herself into a full squat with a good 95.  ZHANG Wanqiong (CHN) hopped back with a low squat and easy lift at 96.  LIAO Qiuyun (CHN) sat slow under 98 having to pause for balance before standing with it under control. ZHANG Wanqiong (CHN) spent a lot of effort getting a grip on the bar was lacking the effort to fix 99 overhead. She sat fast and low hopping back slightly for faster better effort with the same 99.

LIAO Qiuyun (CHN) Charniga photo

DIAZ Hildan (PHI) opened with 115 struggling with clean; but jerked well. ZHANG Wanqiong (CHN) cleaned 118 with slight hop back; jerking a little forward. DIAZ Hildan (PHI) jerked very fast after a better clean with 118. LIAO Qiuyun (CHN) hopped back pausing briefly with 120 at the bottom of the squat, then jerked fast with a wide split. DIAZ Hildan (PHI) struggled to stand through the oscillating barbell; paused to regather to make a fast jerk with wide split. ZHANG Wanqiong (CHN) hopped back pausing briefly in the clean; jerked with a lot of press up, slightly forward. The world record holder at 128, LIAO Qiuyun made 125 look routine scissoring fast and very wide. ZHANG Wanqiong (CHN) cleaned well reverting to the better technique of using fast feet to jerk; unfortunately sent 126 too far forward. LIAO Qiuyun (CHN) struggled some to stand with 129 and tilted too far forward in the half squat; nevertheless, compensated by splitting very wide for a new world record.

59 kg

KUO Hsing – Chun (TPE) 246 (417% of bdwt.); CHOE Hyo Sim (PRK) 245 (415%); CHEN Guiming (CHN) 233 (395%)

CHEN Guiming (CHN) hopped back to fix 97 without hitting bottom in the squat. CHOE Hyo Sim (PRK) slowly pulled 100, hopping back; likewise did not hit a low squat. CHEN Guiming (CHN) lifted 101 slowly; sitting back in a low squat for a few seconds to balance before standing.  By contrast KUO Hsing – Chun (TPE) dropped under 102 very fast with little movement of feet. CHEN Guiming (CHN) hopped back trying to sink low and save 103; to no avail. CHOE Hyo Sim (PRK) pulled slow, sat slow this time a little lower with 104. KUO Hsing – Chun (TPE) lost 106 behind dropping slower than her first into the squat. She was more precise, dropping faster under 107 on her 3rd.  Lifting at the speed of an overloaded freight train CHOE Hyo Sim (PRK) muscled up 107 for her third good lift.

Charniga photo

Kuo Hsin Chun (TPE). Charniga photo

CHEN Guiming (CHN) hopped back, standing slow with 127 she sank into a deep split with front leg flexing. Paradoxically cleaning slow, CHOE Hyo Sim (PRK) jerked 130 with a fast moving split. CHEN Guiming (CHN) did not strain as much standing nor split as deep to make 132. KUO Hsing – Chun (TPE) pulled and stood easily with 133 making an easy jerk. CHOE Hyo Sim (PRK) stood with 135 faster than she pulled it; jerking the weight forward; but savable.

KUO Hsing – Chun (TPE) stood ridiculously easy with 137; jerking with a wider split for another good lift. CHEN Guiming (CHN) paused briefly in the low squat with 138 before standing slow; she jerked with a very deep split holding the weight briefly before dropping it. Lifting 138 to her chest and standing like she was in a sand box, CHOE Hyo Sim (PRK) jerked the weight with a comparatively shallow scissors. With the gold on the line  KUO Hsing – Chun (TPE) went to the world record 140. This weight was actually a challenge to clean and especially to hold the oscillating barbell over head in the split; but she managed for a good lift. The top two in this class made 11 of twelve attempts.

64 kg

DENG Wei (CHN) 261 (408% of bdwt.); RIM Un Sim (PRK) 251 (392%); Toma Loredana (ROM) 240 (375%)

Toma Loredana (ROM) dropped low and fast under 107. DENG Wei (CHN) lifted 108 with a very smooth slight hop back. RIM Un Sim (PRK) hopped back sitting low with the same 108. RIM Un Sim (PRK) hopped slightly forward sitting very low under 112. RIM Un Sim (PRK) hopped back into a slow; but very deep squat with 112. Hopping back a little with 113, DENG Wei (CHN) had to pause a few seconds for balance before standing. Once again RIM Un Sim (PRK) pulled slow, hopping back and squatting very low with 114. A 116 world record was just too heavy for  Toma Loredana (ROM). DENG Wei (CHN) once again had to pause at the bottom with a relatively easy 116.

DENG Wei (CHN). Charniga photo

Toma Loredana (ROM) pushed up and forward with arms to miss the jerk with 127. She cleaned it easier on the follow up but the jerk horribly uncoordinated pushing up on the barbell sending it forward. She went to 128 for her third to get some rest. Still jerking forward; a wide spilt saved the lift.  RIM Un Sim (PRK) hopped back with 130, stepped forward jerking with a fast shallow split. She made a smooth hop back clean with 134 jerking faster and wider in the scissoring the legs; almost losing control. Her clean with 137 easy enough; this time the jerk was more deliberate with wide split.

DENG Wei (CHN) secured all the golds with her first 138. A very smooth clean and consummate jerk. She stuck a little coming up with 143; no matter as jerk was perfect. Her last with 145 was an easier clean another perfect jerk with wrists bending back to help get the weight well behind her head.

76 kg

RIM Jong SIm (PRK) 276 (363% of bdwt.); ZHANG Wangli (CHN) 271 (357%);  Dajomes Barrera (ECU) 245 (322%)

Dajomes Barrera (ECU) made a slight hop forward dropping fast under 110. ZHANG Wangli (CHN) hopped back about 6 cm sinking low with 113. Dajomes Barrera (ECU) pulled 115 slow, dropped slow; losing the weight back. She tried speeding up the lift with 116 which was not even close. ZHANG Wangli (CHN) tried hopping back even further, but machine like with 118; there was not enough effort. She took the same weight, making a better effort at actually fixing the barbell.  Two – time Olympic champion and on track to be the greatest female should she win in Tokyo, RIM Jong SIm (PRK) hopped back, dropping fast she struggled to hold her balance in the squat before standing with 120. She went to 124 with a similar result. Her third with 126 appeared to be locked out but it was not close to being fixed in the squat.

RIM Jong SIm (PRK). Charniga photo

Dajomes Barrera (ECU) hopped forward, stood quickly; jerking forward, but split wide to compensate with 135. What is interesting here is that this young woman makes better use of her elasticity and inertia of her body and the elastic barbell than the east European lifters in this session; whose movements are more stilted and mechanical. She went to 139 losing her balance forward coming out of the squat; jerked it hopelessly forward. Her repeat was a better clean with not enough in the tank left to jerk it. ZHANG Wangli (CHN) cleaned 145 well, seemed to jerk it well; but it came crashing down. She made a big hop backward with same weight; this time waited for the barbell to pretty much stop oscillating before jerking.  RIM Jong SIm (PRK) cleaned 148 keeping her feet pretty much in line; paused to feel the oscillation of the barbell; timing it well for easy jerk. Adjusting to the heavier 152 she jumped back, had to pause and bonce a few times in the squat; paused again to feel the oscillating weight before scissoring fast and wide in the jerk.

ZHANG Wangli (CHN) had to sit in the squat with 153, bounce a couple of times to get up; she likewise waited to feel the oscillation before jerking with a wide fast split. RIM Jong SIm (PRK) pulled 155 ok but started to lose her balance as her heels came up before standing; she took extra time, timing the vibrating bar before she jerked way forward.

81 kg

Solis Leidy (COL) 247 (305%); Valentin Lidia (ESP) 246 (304%); Arthur Jenny (USA) 245 (302%)

Beginning with a high start Arthur Jenny (USA) made a smooth easy lift with 102. Valentin Lidia (ESP) having done 120 at 75 made an easy 105 stopping at about parallel. Solis Leidy (COL) hopped back with 105. Arthur Jenny (USA) made another smooth success at 106 hopping back and sitting low. Valentin Lidia (ESP) sat lower with a fast 108. Solis Leidy (COL) pulled too long and sat too slow with 108. She repeated the same mistakes with the same weight on her third. Arthur Jenny (USA) easily pulled 110 but did not fix it. Most of the lifters in this session make the same mistake trying to pull longer and/or harder to lift a heavier weight. This usually means squatting under and fixing the weight is passive effort.

Solis Leidy (COL). Charniga photo

Valentin Lidia (ESP) who has done in the 145 range at 75 cleaned 130 well enough; pushing the weight forward with the arms to jerk. Arthur Jenny (USA) stood very easy with 132 jerking a little forward. Valentin Lidia (ESP) dragged 134 to the chest and this time had to walk under the weight after pushing it forward around her face. Arthur Jenny (USA) made another easy clean and a better effort to keep the 134 moving straight overhead in the jerk. Solis Leidy (COL) hopped back to clean 136 jerking it fast with a wide split. Valentin Lidia (ESP) cleaned 138 with a struggle, barely pausing; she jerked it fast enough with slight press out; nevertheless a good lift. Solis Leidy (COL) struggled to stand with 139 but jerked fast with a wide split and without discernible pressing up on the barbell. Arthur Jenny (USA) cleaned 139 very easy; pausing long for balance and wait for the barbell to stop oscillating she scissored fast for an easy jerk. Solis Leidy (COL) made a fast easy jerk with the winning 142; which belied the hard pull and harder yet recovery from the squat.

87 kg

WANG Zhouyu (CHN) 278 (320%); KIM Un Ju (PRK) 269 (309%); Salazar Arce (ECU) 252 (290%)

An unfortunate circumstance of some athletes who have to pack on weight to lift within this class is they tend to try to use the extra mass to overcome the mass of the barbell. That is to say they do not use movement of the body to their advantage they just try to lift it high. That being said Salazar Arce (ECU) made an excellent opener with 105 dropping fast and low. Her second with 108 was likewise very smooth and fast.

 

KIM Un Ju (PRK) hopped back a little sitting low with 110. Salazar Arce (ECU) had pulled slightly forward on her previous two attempts; she could not compensate with the heavier 111. Once again KIM Un Ju (PRK) hopped back and dropped low under 115; having the presence of mind to pause long enough to get the oscillating bar under control. WANG Zhouyu (CHN) pulled 116 to power snatch height rode it down shaking like a leaf. The 15 kg bar can be too whippy even with a snatch hand spacing. KIM Un Ju (PRK) pulled 117 high, sitting low without accentuating fixing the bar, dropping it in front. WANG Zhouyu (CHN) pulled 120 fast into a lower squat avoiding the shakes. She tried power snatch, ride it down into the squat with 125, which did not work; losing it behind.

Charniga photo

KIM Un Ju (PRK). Charniga photo

Not textbook but Salazar Arce (ECU) made a very strong clean with 140 then a fast wide split under a slightly forward jerk. She stood very easily with 144 jerking with a leaning forward fast split. WANG Zhouyu (CHN) did a power – ride – down to a squat clean then a fast precise jerk with 147. KIM Un Ju (PRK) cleaned 148 with some effort; performing a no pause rhythmic jerk. WANG Zhouyu (CHN) made 153 harder than it should have been with a power slow ride down clean; jerking slightly forward. KIM Un Ju (PRK) hopped back, bounced several times with 154 to stand, before no pause jerking it easily. Another power shaky ride down clean for WANG Zhouyu (CHN) with 158; a faster, not forward, jerk to finish six for six. KIM Un Ju (PRK) stood after four bounces no pause jerked it but with bent rear knee; the whip of the barbell causing the back leg to collapse under the pressure.

+87 kg

LI Wenwen (CHN) 332 (224%);  Kashirina Tatiana (RUS) 318 (294%); MENG Suping (CHN) 311 (259%)

MENG Suping (CHN) started from a low squat hopping back a lot with 131.  LI Wenwen (CHN) likewise started with 136 from a low squat; dropping under without shifting forward or back. Once again MENG Suping (CHN) hopped way back with 137 having to run forward to the edge of the platform before she could get it under control. Kashirina Tatiana (RUS) hopped back without fully amortizing 140; lost it forward. She repeated with 140; this time she didn’t hop back as much, but the lift was uncoordinated; lost behind.  MENG Suping (CHN) was not remotely close with 140; Kashirina finally fixed 140 on her third still having to run forward to save it. LI Wenwen (CHN) no hopped 142 very easy on her 2nd. Her 3rd with 146 was equally easy. She sat very low for such a big person; a distinct advantage for any lifter, but especially so in this weight class.

LI Wenwen (CHN). Charniga photo

MENG Suping (CHN) bounced several times in the low squat and stood for some seconds with 173 before jerking hopelessly forward. Kashirina Tatiana (RUS) hopped back quite a bit for a Russian; took a step forward, then jerked a little forward, receiving two red lights for no apparent reason. She hopped back less with her 2nd at 173; jerking it forward; scissoring wide enough to compensate. MENG Suping (CHN) obviously losing her flexibility, went to 184 cleaned it ok; jerked forward shaking to get it under control. LI Wenwen (CHN) no foot movement cleaned 175 tilting a little forward more than most athletes to stand. She jerked fast with moderate scissoring of the legs. For someone who has done 193 Kashirina Tatiana (RUS) seemed to struggle to clean 178; nevertheless jerked it fast with a wide split. LI Wenwen (CHN) cleaned 182 easy jerking it fast before cautiously stepping out of the wide split. She no foot movement cleaned 186 having to take a big step forward standing out of the clean; once again jerking very easy in wide split. 

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