MEREDITH ALWINE INTERVIEW
Meredith Alwine is an American weightlifter who brilliantly won the 2021 World Championship, which took place in the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent. By her 23 years old, she already has a solid experience of performing at international competitions and a decent collection of various medals. An interesting fact: Meredith won her first international medal in Tashkent in 2018 at the World Junior Championship. Then it was 3 silver medals: in snatch, clean and jerk, and total. In 2020 she won the World Cup in Rome, also Meredith won the Panamerican Championship 2 times in a row in 2020 and 2021.
We asked her a few questions the day after the victory in Tashkent.
Recall what Meredith's performance in Tashkent looked like:
Snatch: 100 kg, 102 kg, 103 kg - 10th place
Clean and jerk: 132 kg, 135 kg, 138 kg - gold medal
Total: 235 kg - gold medal.
Tell us about how you train and has anything changed in your process during the pandemic?
M.A. I live in Virginia Beach, where I train at the local club mostly on my own.
But your coach Danny Camargo and his gym Oly Concepts are in Florida, how do you communicate?
M.A. Yes, it is, Danny is the creator of my training program, I train on my own and usually send him video reports or he watches my training online. Once every 3 to 4 weeks, I come to his gym for control training. It absolutely suits me, especially since I have a result and progress and medals as well.
That is, in fact, you became the world champion, working with your coach online?
M.A. Then, yes! In modern realities, this is nothing fantastic!
What happened with the snatch during your performance?
M.A. I competed at the Pan American Championship four weeks before, so I can't say that we had a full and purposeful preparation for this World Championship. In fact, I had the only heavy 100 kg snatch for a few sets a week before flying to Tashkent. To be honest, I didn’t feel the movement and angles very well in the snatch. After I snatched my opener, I relaxed because I knew that my clean and jerk performance would be solid. I tried to cheer myself up for the second and third attempts in the snatch, but apparently, I didn’t lift it very well.
What was your mood after the snatch, realizing that you took 10th place?
M.A. Of course I got upset. But I said to myself: even though it was difficult, I got myself together and did the best in my C&J performance that I could.
When you entered the platform for the second attempt, did you know that those kilos would give you a gold medal? Did the coach tell you that you have to lift this weight to win?
M.A. Yes, the coach and I analyzed the application protocols at home, and I understood that I had a chance to fight for the gold medal. Therefore, I understood the responsibility of this performance.
We did not set a goal of breaking any records or showing a new result. Our strategy was simple: collect those kilograms that will bring me the world champion title. I don't usually look at the scoreboard because it's not necessary for me as a competitor, but this time around after an opening lift in clean & jerk-after seeing my total in second place behind only one other athlete — I knew staying focused would be key if I wanted to succeed today! Therefore, when I entered the platform, I understood that this was a very decisive attempt.
How did you feel that weight?
M.A. A little heavier than I expected. I didn’t feel the right angles in the pull, the bar crashed me in the catch, so I had to recover with a double bounce, but then I concentrated and made a confident and stable JERK. In general, it was a normal near-limit attempt.
After the second attempt, you realized that you are already a world champion. What happened in the third?
M.A. So the 3-rd attempt was for Panamerican and USA C&J record. A year ago, I lifted this weight at the national online competitions. But at international competitions, I did not cope with this weight. And the coach and I thought, why not try. But to be honest, it is very difficult to motivate yourself after you have already realized that you have won.
What are your sports plans?
M.A. Next year in the summer again the Panamerican Championship and then the World Championship, so the plans are to continue to train and improve my results. Maybe I will have a recovery week: light technical training and light squats. Given my busy competitive schedule, I don't want to completely exclude strength training.
What are your technical weaknesses today? What needs to be worked on?
M.A. As for the snatch, there are a lot of things: I am still trying to find my ideal grip width, recently my coach and I changed my feet placement in the starting position, in general, there is always something to improve and something for improvement.
Photo credit: @sickansgles