News Interview Olympic Weightlifting Pro Athletes WWC2023

Simon Martirosyan Interview — During the 2023 WWC in Riyadh 

The weightlifting path of Simon Martirosyan embodies grit, determination, and noteworthy skills. Known for being a two-time World Champion, two-time European Champion, two-time Olympic silver medalist, and the total record holder in the 109 kg weight class, Simon is a great role model for young athletes expressing his total dedication to what he does.

The 9th day of the Qualifying competition at the WWC in Riyadh brought us a unique opportunity to interview an Armenian weightlifter Simon Martirosyan to find out lots of interesting facts about his journey in weightlifting.

Simon’s Path from Juniors to Olympic Champions

Weightlifting is a national sport in Armenia, with deep traditions and great respect. So, Simon’s path in weightlifting started with his family. 

  • How long have you been in Olympic weightlifting and how did it start?

“I started lifting at the age of 12 and it was love at first sight. Before I tried boxing a bit. My father and uncle were weightlifters as well. In my big family, there are successful personalities in the sport and science as well.” 


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“For me, weightlifting is my passion, my job, my everything.”

For you to know, Simon started to compete on a decent level in the 85-kg weight class, then he jumped up over 94 kg and started to lift in 105 and then in the 109+ weight division. 

  • Was it your decision, the team’s order, or something else? And what do you think now, was it the correct decision?

“85 was my junior age weight class, but for the Olympic preparation and competition in that period 105 was more optimal than 94, so this is how it happened. But I would say, it was thought to gain weight for me….a lot of meals and supplements… 

After this, my metabolism changed completely, because when I competed in 109, my regular training body weight was 120-123 kg. So it was very uncomfortable for me to cut before every international competition such a big amount of kilos. Also, during this period a lot of injuries started to bother me.  So this is how I moved to 109+.”

  • You said injuries, what issues do you have now?

“Now no problem…I feel perfect!”

  • There are 3 top heavyweight athletes in the National Armenian team: you, Lalayan and Minasyan. Yes, he is competing for Bahrain, but in fact you spend training time in one environment. How do you feel about all this?

“My attitude is very professional here and my teammates also. In regular life we are friends, on a platform we are 100% supporting each other. My only rival in this sport is the barbell and I don’t see other competitors. 

Of course, I know some athletes are probably thinking in the way “Oh this is my rival, this guy is so strong, his muscles are so big”. 

“For me such a thing does not exist. My fight is only between me and the barbell.”

  • Your lifting and competition experience is fantastic: 2 Olympic Games and a lot of World and European Championships in between. What is your approach to maintaining top conditions during this solid time?

“After Europeans 2021, where I bombed out in C&J I can’t call my shape top, I didn’t like my competition results for now.”

  • You mean 270 jerk from the rack is not good?

“This is from the rack…I mean my lifting is solid, but not exactly what I want.”

  • What are your main goals in training now?

“Honestly, my big body is a problem for me. It is really uncomfortable for me. Seems like I live in a different body. In the earlier days, my Snatch always was stable and big. I could get some rest and break from training, then come back to the gym and show the same big Snatch result. 

I mean if the coach would come early in the morning and say: “Simon wake up, we have Snatch maxout”, I would stand up and snatch it. But the good news is that I am working hard and step by step coming back to that young Simon.” 

  • Do you work more now on the strength side or technical? Do you have any specific technical tasks?

“My opinion is that my technique is fine. I had some troubles in C&J during weight gain, but now I feel 100% confident. In Snatch I also had some speed issues, but now I am in a good competition form.”

Every national team has its specific training methods, targeted to its athletes’ smooth progress and gaining goals. The Armenian weightlifting team, known for its dedication and achievements, is no exception. So, we asked the following question:

  • Can you explain what your training week looks like?

“We have a weekend on Monday, all other days – two sessions. In the morning every day – jogging, stretching, and warming up. First session at noon, second session at 6 pm.”

  • So you a runner?

“Yes, and very fast! Mostly short distances, it is very helpful!”

Simon Martirosyan
  • You spend a lot of time on accessory drills. Why?

“In my opinion accessory is very important for injury prevention. Since my childhood: back extensions, sitting presses and triceps have always been on the list.”

Besides the total concentration on hard work and constant workouts, Simon Martirosyan had already gained great popularity in his country making him a big celebrity in Armenia.

  • In Armenia you are definitely a hero and celebrity, how does it feel to be a star?

“I love the people of Armenia, so this is mutual! But I am not trying to put myself above anyone, I want to feel like a normal Armenian citizen.”

  • Do people recognize you on the streets of Yerevan?

“Of course in most cases, yes. But I don’t feel too much pressure because of this.”

Conclusion: The Armenian Weightlifting Prodigy and a Big Hope for the Olympics

Martirosyan said that now he returns to the young Simon who is satisfied with his results and feels comfortable in his body to lift heavier weights. He thinks that his current technique is good, there are no problems with Clean & Jerk, and he’s confident in this exercise for 100%. While in Snatch he loses speed a little. Currently, there’s a good chance for Simon to prevail in the category and continue to make Armenia proud. 

We learned many interesting facts about Simon’s path in weightlifting, his training routine, mindset, and challenges that made him stronger. He’s a dedicated lifter and a true pride for Armenia. Stay tuned to our media channels and website blog to know other prominent weightlifters from their other side.

Let’s observe how this talented lifter will perform at the Qualifying session soon and then at the Games in Paris. Stay tuned and get subscribed to our channels for more eye-grabbing information about the most prominent athletes of this Championship.

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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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