UKRAINIANS AT EUROPEANS 2022
It’s June 2022, the war has been going on in Ukraine for more than three months. Our Armed Forces and all Ukrainian people are bravely defending the country against russian invaders. Every citizen is trying their best for the sake of the Victory.
Ukrainian athletes continue preparing and competing at international competitions in order to raise our flag and remind the international society that we still call for their help.
For the whole previous week, the European Weightlifting Championship was taking place in Tirana (Albania). By the way, it was the 100th anniversary.
I came there for 3 days to recall and feel the vibe again and also to support our team. I liked the organization of the competition and training hall: everything was really comfortable.
While observing the championships, I came up with a few interesting thoughts:
- Weightlifting is growing. New leading countries come into play. New young but successful coaches start their work with a modern vision of technique and methodology. Personally, I was fascinated by Italy. They have their own pre-competition tip: some athletes did a light warm-up with a bar 6 hours before the performance. Moreover, Italians finally set world records. It was impossible to imagine it only 10 years ago but now they have Nino Pizzolato.
- A lot of athletes over 30 take part in competitions. What’s more, it happens both among men and women.
- Plenty of weightlifters have come from Crossfit and now perform at the TOP level.
The Norwegian athlete Solfrid Koanda is a perfect example of that: she came to a gym at 15, then went into Crossfit, and only 5 years later became a European champion.
- Technical and psychological preparation are VERY urgent. Firstly, I noticed that referees are really strict about catch position: the slightest move in the elbows ends up with no lift. Secondly, once tactical fight starts, athletes make obvious “beginner” mistakes: pull the shoulders backward, rush during the snatch fixation, “forget” how to jerk.
This preparation was really hard and stressful because of the sudden russian invasion. The women's team was preparing at the Kyiv Olympic training base. The men's team was in Chernihiv in the beginning, but after the fighting started there, they moved to the Bucharest Olympic center with the help of the Ukrainian and Romanian Weightlifting Federations as well as the International one.
However, the Ukrainian team’s results appeared to be not only unexpected but also unique. I will gladly and proudly share it with you.
Ukrainian weightlifters won 21 medals: 18 by women and 3 by men.
On top of that, the women’s team turned out to be a leader in the overall medal count among 34 European countries. 6 female athletes finished on the podium.
Angelina Lomachynska (49 kg weight class)
Snatch - 80 kg, GOLD
Clean&Jerk - 87 kg, BRONZE
Total - 167 kg, SILVER
Alina Marushchak (81 kg)
Snatch - 108 kg, SILVER
Clean&Jerk - 127 kg, BRONZE
Total - 235 kg, SILVER
I will remind you that Alina became a world champion in this weight class last year.
By the way, both athletes started lifting weights under the supervision of Oleg Poliakov who also prepared the Olympic champion (Barcelona, 1992) Tudor Casapu.
Kamila Konotop (55 kg)
Snatch - 94 kg, СРІБЛО
Clean&Jerk - 113 kg, ЗОЛОТО
Total - 207 kg, СРІБЛО
Kamila was in the very center of the war in the beginning but with the help of the coaches, she was evacuated to a safe place to continue the preparation. Thus, her results and medals at this competition are truly a miracle!
Maria Gangur (64 kg)
Snatch - 102 kg, GOLD
Clean&Jerk - 120 kg, BRONZE
Total - 222 kg, GOLD
This weight class was new for her but she managed to lift 6-for-6.
I’m proud that both Kamila and Maria are trained by my coach – Valeriy Nikulin.
Iryna Dekha (81 kg)
Snatch - 116 kg, GOLD
Clean&Jerk - 137 kg, GOLD
Total - 253 kg, GOLD
This is her third European victory but in a new weight class this time. By the way, she is Yevgeniy Shylov’s athlete.
She went 6-for-6 and also regained her 100% leader status in the Ukrainian team after failing her clean & jerk at Tokyo Olympics.
Anastasiia Manievska (87 kg)
Snatch - 107 kg, SILVER
Clean&Jerk - 130 kg, SILVER
Total - 237 kg, SILVER
It was a very successful debut on the European platform.
It was the first international performance of the men’s team under the supervision of a new coach. Erzhas Boltaev is from Kazakhstan and used to work with its national team. He trained Ilya Ilyin and also prepared the Uzbek team for Tokyo Olympics, including Ruslan Nuridinov and Akbar Djuraev. Find his interview here.
Unfortunately, after 5 months of work, our men still fall behind the women’s team. Nevertheless, there are some medals, too.
Dmytro Voronovskyi (55 kg)
Snatch - 108 kg, 5th place
Clean&Jerk - 134 кг, BRONZE
Total 242 кг, BRONZE
By the way, Dmytro and Anastasiia Manievska are from a well-known Ukrainian weightlifting school named after Leonid Zhabotynskyi in Zaporizhia.
A very surprising and delightful performance was by Maksym Dombrovskyi in the 96 kg weight class. He became a junior world champion a month ago so coaches decided to give him another chance among adults this time.
He finished in the 4th place (only 1 kilo to the bronze). Nevertheless, he set his personal record of 207 kg in the third attempt (+9 kg to his previous PR) and won the silver medal in the clean & jerk.
I’m proud of our team’s performance and thankful to all the coaches and everyone who was involved in these victories!!!
During this tough period of Ukraine’s history, you can help Ukraine against russian aggression:
- Direct help to Ukraine Forces. Here are the links to reliable funds:
- Join the anti-war movement in your country:
- You can support us, as a company. Your purchases will help us to stay afloat. Or you can buy a special Donation card and spend it in the future on upcoming programs. Part of the funds will be transferred to Voices of Children's Charity Foundation.
We are keeping COLD MIND.
We will win and defend OUR country!!!
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Heroes!
Photo credit: lb.ua