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The lead changed ten times

Memorable Moment by Jim Schmitz

I didn’t have just one memorable moment, I had several. That’s the reason why I attend the World Championships every year. My first memorable moment was when I saw this lifter from Australia, Malek Chamoun 85 kg bodyweight category, being guided out to the platform by his coach. I thought that’s odd, why is the coach doing that as coaches aren’t allowed on the stage. Then someone told me he is blind. I thought “Wow”, that’s incredible and it was. He snatched 135 kg on his first attempt then missed 140 kg twice. He got himself in trouble on his clean and jerks, missing the jerk with 170 kg twice before making it on his third attempt. Let me tell you this is a courageous, determined young man. He totaled 305 kg for the 31st place, but what an inspiration.

My next memorable moment was the incredible competition between the two Russian lifters Khadzimurat Akkaev and Dmitry Klokov in the 105 kg bodyweight category. What a battle! Klokov is heavier, 104.6 kg to 104.44 kg, opens with 187 kg, Akkaev opens with 190 kg, Klokov does 192 kg, Akkaev does 195 kg, Klokov now does 196 kg, Akkaev then does 198 kg. These were six absolutely beautiful perfect snatches. Klokov opens the Clean and Jerks with 220 kg followed by Akkaev with 222 kg. Now competition strategy enters into their battle, trying to force the other into taking too much or the wrong weight. Klokov does 225 kg, Akkaev is now behind by one kilo, but instead of just trying to stay ahead he jumps to 228 kg, which he makes forcing Klokov to take a big jump. Klokov only needs 231 kg to take the lead, but he must feel he needs every kilo so he takes and makes 232 kg to take the lead back with a 428 kg in the Total to Akkaev’s 426 kg. This means Akkaev must also take and make the 232 kg in order to win, well he did it. Just a fantastic competition, one where you would have seen if they had one more attempts each. The lead changed ten times and no misses, this was textbook lifting.

Every World Championships is extremely memorable to me, I could go on and on and that’s why I haven’t missed one since 1976.

By Jim Schmitz