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Ilyin : What a come back

94kg group A had a remarkable line up with the Olympic Champion Ilyin, all three medallists of Antalya World Championships, 2011 European and 2011 Asian Champion, additionally the current Junior World Champion. There was one significant lifter of the category missing, Sedov (KAZ) World Champion of 2009 who moved up to 105kg division.

Kazakh team leaders replaced him by Uteshov who had a memorable debut by all Snatch attempts missed. Calancea (ROU) was the oldest of all (31 years old) while youngest Mohammadpour (IRI) stepped over 18 this year.
After three years of absence Ilyin was very happy to come back however he docked just on the fifth place after Snatch. Ivanov (UKR) and Ivanov (RUS) looked to decide the fate of the first positions. The Russian lifter could not make a mistake ending Snatch at 186kg. Artem Ivanov and his coaches were clever enough not to get into trouble by risking 187kg. 186kg and the second rank made them satisfied. Korean Kim showed super power and could have riffled it all. He was challenged by 187kg. First place or third place? Hope of gold made him hungry; he was just 1kg away from Kakhiasvili’s World Record. The record holder was sitting in the audience and he had to realize the time is close when one of these athletes will be sharp enough to wipe his name from the list of current records.

In Clean and Jerk Nurudinov (UZB) failed with 225kg but had a good position with his 221kg also as he was the lightest among favorites. Not counting of course Ilyin who moved from 221 to 226kg at his second attempt. Non stop pressure characterized this competition. Regarding just the last attempts of the top 12 lifters Mohammadpour’s 221kg was the only successful one. Artem Ivanov had one chance to take the lead as he needed 227kg. It could have meant 413kg Total, a new World Record, but Kakhiasvili’s peak achievement still resisted.

However he dropped his last attempt Ilyin became a World Champion due to his lighter body weight (407kg). He needed only four successful attempts to achieve his goal and return from his treacle sleep. There was nobody, known or unknown, in the warm up area he did not kiss expressing his emotions. Out of the 15 Beijing Olympic Champions he is the only one who had been crowned after three years time again.
There are two more interesting statistics: six nations were represented at medal ceremonies and among the top 13 lifters 10 came from the territory of so called ex Soviet Union.

Men’s 94kg Press Conference:

Over 40 weightlifters fought to capture the gold medals at men’s 94kg weight class, however Kazakhstan’s Olympic and World Champion title holder, Ilya Ilyin, could finally win two gold medals at this category.

Attending the press conference, Kazakh gold medallist was asked why he did not take part in World Championships in 2009 and 2010. He explained that after 2008 Beijing Olympics he had injuries therefore he decided to take 2009 off and spent his time doing leisure activities such as reading books. And in 2010 he competed at Asian Games but again due to his serious injuries he could not participate in the Antalya World Championships.

Ilyin stressed that he would make better performances in the coming Olympic Games, promising to break the World Record and accordingly collect the gold medals.
Regarding the referees’ decision not to accept his third attempt in the Snatch, Ilyin said that was what the referees decided and he had to accept the decision.
He later added that his result at the Paris 2011 Xorl Weightlifting Championships was the top of his capacity for the time being.

Ukraine’s silver medallist Artem Ivanov, expressed his gratitude to his family and friends. Saying he could not manage the competition as he wanted because when he was doing the Snatch his back hurt.

Iran’s bronze medallist Saeed Mohammadpour Karkaragh, also present at the Press Conference, declared that he has been in Iran’s national camp for 10 months and considered the continuous trainings and the camps’ discipline as the key to his success.

Adding he also had enough motivation to participate in the World Championships and win medals at the age of 18 as a junior weightlifter.