News Olympic Weightlifting Pro Athletes WWC2023

Arley Mendez at the WWC 2023 in Riyadh: Expecting comeback of the World Champion to the great contest arena in Riyadh [Interview]

This time we succeeded in talking with a weightlifter from Chile, Arley Perez Mendez, a 2017 World Champion in the 85 kg weight division.

We haven’t seen him at any world competitions since the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 when he was competing in the 81 kg category. But, thanks to social media, we found that now he is preparing intensively for the Olympic Games in Paris by lifting solid weights.

He says that now he feels great despite a one-year break in official competitions. He also admitted that he had a tibial bone break and thought it was the end of his career in weightlifting. But, today he’s in Riyadh aiming to get to the podium. Despite changing the training regime and lowering in performance pace, now Arley shows quite good results. 

So, at the WWC in Riyadh, he’s competing in the new weight class of 89 kg, aiming to lift a total of 380 kg. His weight is around 87-88 kg and his goal is to get to 91-92 kg.


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We asked him whether he has some nutritional tricks before the competition. Arley Mendez said that overall there’s no specific diet, he eats healthy food and it works perfect for him. He admitted that he can even eat at McDonald’s or something similar at weekends. But, generally, he prefers proper nutrition to help the body regeneration before the performance.

Arley Mendez

1. Revealing the lifting talent since childhood

Coming back to Arley’s sports journey, he started taking up sports at the age of nine in Cuba. He was interested in judo and baseball before committing to Olympic weightlifting at eleven years. He participated in Junior competitions, namely at the Junior Pan-American and Junior World Championships.

At the age of 21 he changed nationality to Chilean. After having moved to Chile in 2015 he started training under the surveillance of the Bulgarian coach. Arley Mendez told us that the Bulgarian training system means performing at your 100% every day. This is a very intensive system at maximum.

2. Strong sides  and training secrets of the Chilean athlete

We joined Arley during a training session that was focused on working out the Snatch exercise of 140 kg including Snatch pulls and squats, which aims to reach peak shape during the competition and strengthen back and leg muscles.

We asked him what exercise he likes most – Snatch or Clean & Jerk. The Chilean lifter answered that his favorite movement is Jerk, but he’s more confident in Snatch. His strong side is strength, but for the moment, he needs to improve his mobility. To make his Jerk much better, he needs more body harmony, while he’s faster and explosive in Snatch.

It was interesting to know how he managed to develop such a movement speed and explosiveness. The answer was quite simple: Arley started developing his power and speed from childhood, so now it’s on the peak. Additionally, the athlete has his secret exercises that help him to maintain great form: these are vertical jumps, 30-meter sprints, accessory exercises, and of course training abs and core muscles.

Despite all challenges, Arley Mendez is highly confident and determined in gaining his Olympic goals. Hard work, strong mind, and exceptional determination are key points in Arley’s approach to succeed at this Qualifying competition.

Read the full report about each day of IWF World Championships 2023 in Riyadh prepared by our media team. Don’t miss the opportunity to stay updated and follow this great event in the Olympic weightlifting world with us from the very beginning till the end!

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Tanya Shaiko

Author: Tanya Shaiko
News Editor, Olympic Lifting Enthusiast

Oly Lifting Experience: 6 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 61 kg,
C&J – 78 kg

I’m Tanya, and I just can’t do without fitness. About six years ago, I got into Olympic weightlifting and instantly fell in love with it. Weightlifting is like no other sport – it’s just you versus the bar. Driven by my unwavering passion for an active lifestyle, I’ve been eager to share my personal journey and sports enthusiasm with others. As a journalist and photographer, my interests come full circle, adding an extra dimension to the news column that I curate. This way, I keep my readers updated with the latest happenings in the sports world.

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