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Night of celebration and more surprises

On the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the First World War ends. At that morning, Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France.

France remembered this historical day. Many French celebrated the victory on a special way 93 years later. Weightlifting Dome was overcrowded and after the beginning of 85 kg Group A competition there was not a single seat available. There was quite a good turnout due to ‘Benji’ Hennequin representing France. It was not difficult to warm up proud local audience when the song associated with French soccer’s victory as a world champion was played. The atmosphere in and out of the hall was elementary.

The field was decorated with fantastic lifters, six out of the world ranking list top ten were present. Olympic, World and Asian champion Lu (CHN), title holder Zielinski (POL), junior world champion Rostami (IRI), Pan American champion Hernandez (CUB) all were ready to fight for medals and for Olympic slots.

We had a very interesting snatch competition as Rybakov (BLR) achieved 178 kg some time earlier in group B and all members of group A were chasing his top result. With no success. However the competition showed really a high standard as all the athletes with one exception were successful by their first attempt. It was the case with Chinese Lu as well (170 kg). Later his experience could not help him and he finished snatch with only one correct attempt. Zielinski had his 174 KG AND Rostami his 173 kg to get medals behind Rybakov.

It was embarrassing to see how Lu was suffering with 205 kg however he won Beijing Olympics with 214 kg clean and jerk. Finally he was eliminated. Who DOES remember when a Chinese lifter was not able to close a competition with a total result? While Lu was disillusioned on the other hand Hennequin was really fascinating as he failed just at his last attempt (210 kg) One surprise followed the other. Zielinski could not perform well. He remained on 202 kg and came down from the medal podium in clean and jerk. Young Iranian started well and he had to opportunities to break (219 kg) the World Record. He was jumping from 209 kg to 219 kg. His opening attempt was enough to win gold in Clean and Jerk and in Total. Home supported Hennequin gained double silver. The bronze went to Cuban Hernandez in Clean and Jerk, while Zielinski grabbed the bronze in total.

Men’s 85kg Press Conference

Men’s 85kg category finally ended with Iranian weightlifter Kianoush Rostami winning two gold medals in Clean and Jerk and Total and a bronze medal in Snatch.
Speaking at the Press Conference, the Iranian gold medallist expressed his satisfaction over the results, adding only setting new World Record could make him happy at this competition.

When being asked what he shouting before lifting the weights, Kianoush said he was from a western city of Kermanshah where people speak Kurdish, and when lifting the weights he always say the same phrase by which he is asking for help from God.

The gold medallist stressed that he has started weightlifting in 2002, and has had continuous trainings with different coaches. He said he wanted to perform better at 85kg weight class, but as he had injuries in his knee and elbow he could not perform as he had planned.
Iran’s first medalist at the 2011 IWF World Championships in Paris hopes his teammates will also perform as good as he did. Adding: “Behdad Salimi, our superheavy man, is our great hope and hopefully will set new World Record at this competition, and also Saeid Mohammadpour Karkarach, 94kg weightlifter, is also very much ready to perform well.”

Expressing his gratitude to the Iranian Weightlifting Federation and his coaches, Kianoush promised to break the World Record at the coming Olympic Games.
French Silver Medalist Benjamin Hennquin also said he was very happy with his results, as it was his personal best record. He formerly Snatched 165kg, Clean and Jerked 208kg with 373kg as his Total.

He declared he was very thankful for the great support of the crowd and also the French Weightlifting Federation.
Poland’s bronze medalist Adrian Zielinski also attended the press conference; he was very disappointed with his result, since Paris 2011 Championships was very important for him. Adding he learnt a lot from this contest and he would prepare himself much better for the London Olympics.