The 2017 European Weightlifting Championships

The 2017 European Weightlifting Championships

Andrew ‘Bud’ Charniga

The 2017 European championships took place in the Croatian city of Split on the coast of the Adriatic. An excellent location with vibrant city center, excellent cuisine and great service.

The highlight of the competition was the 217 kg world record snatch of Talakhadze Lasha (GEO). This exceeded by 1 kg the mark of Antonio Krastev (BUL) set in 1986. The calculations of Medvedyev in the 1990s that the now discarded records of 1992 would take 16 – 20 years to be overcome were off by more than 11 years in this instance.

Guys like Talakhadze with log limbs, sans bulging muscles; and, especially Maligov Adam (RUS) who in street clothes does not look like he could possibly weight more than 80 kg let alone raise the weights he does, make this an interesting time in the sport. For instance, the muscle-less physique of the world’s strongest man Talakhadze is a stark contrast to that of Albegov. The difference between the two is especially noticeable in the jerk. Albegov could not fix two jerks this despite bulging muscles in his upper body.

This was the first time the 90 kg class was included in the European championships. The introduction of this weight class is a disservice to the female lifter. A weight division in the 59 – 69 kg range would be more appropriate to the average height, skeletal structure of women; their potential to develop useful muscle mass and so forth. In time it will prove to be a mistake; a superfluous gesture. It is probably no coincidence that the 90 kg gold medalist could not have won the 75 kg class in either the 2017 European nor 2017 Asian championships.   

The Women

48 kg

Michel Anais (FRA) 180, Csengeri Monica (ROU) 179, Andreis Elena (ROU) 164

Michel Anais (FRA) dropped low with a slight hop back with 76. Michel Anais (FRA) jumped down low leaning to her left to gain control with  78. Csengeri Monica (ROU) snapped 80 up easily without bottoming out. Michel Anais (FRA) dropped very fast hitting a low squat and again tilting to her left with 80. Csengeri Monica (ROU) as tall as her 1984 Olympic champion at 82.5 kg coach, hopped forward at least 5 cm; but perfectly good 83. Dropping very low and again with a big jump forward Csengeri Monica (ROU) made a solid 85.

Csengeri Monica (ROU) cleaned 94 easily but jerked forward and was turned down for arm lock. Another easy clean, a forward shifting jerk for good lift with 94 for Csengeri Monica (ROU). Michel Anais (FRA) cleaned 95 easy; jerking by moving her rear foot inside the hip. The difference for Csengeri’s  final with 97 was the forward jerk was just too far out front to control.  Michel Anais (FRA) hopped forward with 100 jerking a little in front for the win.   

53 kg

Lochowska Joanna (POL) 192, Hernandez Atenery (ESP) 191, Pankova Liudmila (BLR) 189

Pankova Liudmila (BLR) hopped back slightly with an easy 78. Her second with 81 was a mirror of her first. Hernandez Atenery (ESP) stopped 82 just below parallel before settling into a low squat. Pankova Liudmila (BLR) made an excellent one motion, hop back lift with 83. Lochowska Joanna (POL) made a smooth no foot movement lift with 84. Hernandez Atenery (ESP) dropped to the bottom with 84; instead of pausing at parallel. Lochowska Joanna (POL) hoped back for another smooth lift at 86. Hernandez Atenery (ESP) popped her feet wide; sitting very low with 86. Lochowska Joanna (POL) was turned down for an imaginary infraction with 89.

Pankova Liudmila (BLR) Charniga photo.

Pankova Liudmila (BLR) jerked 99 a little forward. Using a wide a hand spacing Hernandez Atenery (ESP) moved her hands out a little further before jerking 102 a little in forward. Pankova Liudmila (BLR) struggled to clean 103; stepping under it with a wide split for the jerk. Lochowska Joanna (POL) cleaned 104 with no foot movement splitting wide and fast for the jerk. Hernandez Atenery (ESP) jerked 105 forward for a miss due to press out. Struggling to stand with 105 Hernandez Atenery (ESP) split wide to fix 105. Lochowska Joanna (POL) struggled out of the squat with a double bodyweight 106; having to split fast and wide to make a good lift. After a big struggle to stand, Pankova Liudmila (BLR) split wide and fought hard to finally bring her 200% bodyweight 106 under control.

58 kg

Khlestina Natalia (RUS) 214, Koha Rebecca (LAT) 213, Molie Madalina (ROU) 208

Khlestina Natalia (RUS) dropped low and fast with 92. Koha Rebecca (LAT) hopped back without hitting bottom with 92. Pulling too long, Khlestina Natalia (RUS could not fix 95 in the low squat. Koha Rebecca (LAT) hopped back with an easy 95; again without hitting bottom. Khlestina Natalia (RUS) jumped down very fast; hitting a low squat with 95. Hopping back with 97 Koha Rebecca (LAT) seemed to have an easy lift but could not settle into a low squat; losing it backwards.

Koha Rebecca (LAT) Charniga photo

Koha Rebecca (LAT) made an easy clean and easy wide split jerk at 110. Khlestina Natalia (RUS) cleaning like she could do 130; power jerked 114. Koha Rebecca (LAT) made another solid clean and a wide split jerk with 114. Kentli Sumeyye (TUR) made the first 200% bodyweight jerk of the is class with 116.  Khlestina Natalia (RUS) made another strong clean with 117 but struggled a bit to hold it. Jerking with the classic technique elbows high and a fast, wide split Koha Rebecca (LAT) stretched under 117. Khlestina Natalia (RUS) repeated her second with a strong clean, shaky jerk at 119 for the gold.

Khlestina Natalia (RUS) Charniga photo

63 kg

Toma Loredana (ROU) 226, Aleeva Tatiana (RUS) 223, Turieva Tima (RUS) 218

Aleeva Tatiana (RUS) opened with a high pull; dropping slowly under 95.  Turieva Tima (RUS) hopped forward slightly and sat low with, for her a light 97. Aleeva Tatiana (RUS) pulled 98 high hopping forward only to lose it forward. She hopped forward pulling very high to make this on her third. Toma Loredana (ROU) pulled  high; dropping not particularly fast with 100. Turieva Tima (RUS) pulled slow and sat slow under an unsuccessful 101. Still lifting slow she got this weight at arms’ length only to drop it behind. Toma Loredana (ROU) pulled 104 high without much emphasis to re – arrange the feet to fix it. She tried pulling longer on the same weight for her third again to no avail.

Turieva Tima (RUS) Charniga photo

Aleeva Tatiana (RUS) pulled high jerking 120 with a fast split. Turieva Tima (RUS) struggled at the top of the recovery; jerking solid, pausing in the split with 121. Cleaning 121 with ridiculous ease Toma Loredana (ROU) jerked it a little forward; still good. Aleeva Tatiana (RUS) struggled to recover from a forward clean at 124; managing to make a shaky jerk. Following herself with 125 she pulled high and made a fast solid jerk. Toma Loredana (ROU) made another powerful clean with a 200% of bodyweight 126; splitting wide to fix it in the jerk. Making a hard clean with 127 Turieva Tima (RUS) could not generate the power to fix it over head. Another big struggle with the same result on her third. Already the gold medalist Toma Loredana (ROU) cleaned 130 easy; started to black out and had to drop the weight.

Toma Loredana (ROU) Charniga photo

69 kg

Romanova Anastasia (RUS) 243, Khlyan Mariya (UKR) 225, Mikhalenkka Anastasia (BLR) 225

Mikhalenkka Anastasia (BLR) power snatched 95; almost losing backwards. Khlyan Mariya (UKR) hopped forward with 96 into a low squat; shaking in the recovery. She hopped forward too much with 99 before losing it backwards. Demonstrating the flaw inherent to power snatching in competition Mikhalenkka Anastasia (BLR) lost 99 forward attempting to drop into a squat. She seemed to have her repeat with this weight but lost it backwards despite all that power. Khlyan Mariya (UKR) hopped forward with 99 but this time she controlled it for a good lift.  Romanova Anastasia (RUS) pulled 103 high sitting slow. She power snatched 107 on her 2nd; pretty much doing the same thing with 112.

Mikhalenkka Anastasia (BLR) Charniga photo

Khlyan Mariya (UKR) sat back with 120; jerking with a wide fast split. Mikhalenkka Anastasia (BLR) cleaned 122 with ease; jerking a little forward. Khlyan Mariya (UKR) hopped forward with 124; jerking fast with a wide split. Romanova Anastasia (RUS) did a power clean sit into squat, then a power jerk with 125. Khlyan Mariya (UKR) sat back again with 126; struggling to stand jerked with a fast split. Mikhalenkka Anastasia (BLR) hopped forward standing very easy with 127; jerking forward she saved it with a wide split. She jerked forward again with 130 and was lucky to save it; receiving two whites. A high pull; a slow recovery; Romanova Anastasia (RUS) made an easy power jerk with 131. She went to 135 recovering even slower; now, the no technique power jerk was turned down for press out.

75 kg

Valentin Lidia (ESP) 252, Vostrikova Maria (RUS) 238, Poghosyan Sona (ARM) 227, Dekha Iryna (UKR) 120 137

Vostrikova Maria (RUS) Charniga photo

A weightlifter who could grace the cover of Vogue magazine, Vostrikova Maria (RUS) hopped back stopping in a low squat before standing with 105. She had to sit several seconds to control her shaky 110 2nd. Valentin Lidia (ESP) whose past Olympic prospects keep improving; power snatched her opener with 112. Vostrikova Maria (RUS) hopped back; sitting very low; she had to struggle for some seconds, once again making a good lift with 113. Dekha Iryna (UKR) power snatched 114. Valentin Lidia (ESP) had to take a step forward to control a not very low squat with 115. Dekha Iryna (UKR) hopped forward and again power snatched 117. Unable to sink low to fully fix 118 Valentin’s right elbow unlocked. Pulling forward; hopping a little forward, Dekha Iryna (UKR) muscled up 120 to go into a 5 kg lead.

Vostrikova Maria (RUS) Charniga photo

Vostrikova Maria (RUS) cleaned OK;  having to struggle to steady her 125 opener. She dropped 129 coming out of the squat. After struggling to clean the same weight, she had nothing left for the jerk. Dekha Iryna (UKR) cleaned 137 turning to her left seemed to have the jerk at about parallel in the squat; then dropped it. Valentin Lidia (ESP) went to 137 for a hop forward clean and easy jerk. Dekha Iryna (UKR) pulled 137 very high, seeming to have the weight up and back in the half squat; unable to control it, she dropped it backwards. With the gold on the line she high pulled 137 for the third time paused in a high half squat of her power jerk technique to fix the weight; she lost her balance for the third time.

90 kg

Mistieva Diana (RUS) 241, Kisil Valentyna (UKR) 240, Hakobyan Tatev (ARM) 230

The winning result in this class would not have earned gold in either the 75 or 69 kg class. The additional mass of the lifters in this class over the 75 kg seems to inhibit rather than contribute to coordination. Consequently, the results are none too impressive. Unfortunately, the women need another smaller weight division say around 65 kg not another heavy one.  

+90 kg

Kashirina Tatiana (RUS) 317, Lysenko Anastasia (UKR) 277, Magat Kristztina (HUN) 234

Kashirina Tatiana (RUS) Charniga photo

Kashirina Tatiana (RUS) lifting without any pressure snatched 137 getting turned down for press out with 140; be that it may, a long way from 155. She had to work to jerk 180 likewise a long way from 193 her world record.