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    Heraklion (a Greek island) was holding the Junior Worlds for the whole previous week (2-10 May 2022). Boys and girls under 20 from 52 states took part in the competition. 

    Let me remind the whole weightlifting unity from all around the world that right now in my country the war is going on. The Armed Forces of Ukraine and all the people are going all out to defeat the enemy, banish putin’s russians away, and make the Victory closer!

    Ukrainian athletes, despite all the hurdles, do their part in this fight by raising our flag at international competitions. 

    Since junior athletes are our reserve and the adult team’s future, I want to proudly walk you through all our boys' and girls’ success at this championship. 

    The preparation for the competition was highly stressful and hard as the russian army insidiously invaded our land in the middle of the preparatory period. Our coaches and athletes were surrounded by serious danger in such a difficult situation. They had no idea where and how to continue the training process and if there was at least a chance of doing that. By the way, several coaches and athletes are now defending Ukraine with weapons in their arms. 

    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. 

    Let me remind you that the head coach of the men’s team is Erzhas Boltaev who used to train the Kazakh team and work with Ilya Ilyin. Moreover, the preparation of the Uzbek team (Ruslan Nurudinov and Akbar Djuraev in particular) for the Tokyo Olympics was his responsibility. Find an interview with him here.

    By the way, the Chernigiv Olympic sports training center and stadium were shelled and completely destroyed by the russian invaders just a few days after the national team left it. 

The renowned Ukrainian coach Oleksandr Rykov together with his crew had been building and renovating this base for years. Hundreds of talented athletes had been brought up on its platform, including the Olympic champion Natalia Skakun. 

     The men’s team used to spend a great deal of time here. Numerous national competitions and international tournaments were held there…

    One day, I lifted 240 kilos in the clean & jerk right in this gym.  

    The Ukrainian national team included 7 girls and 6 boys that took part in the Junior World championship. Separate thanks to the Ministry of culture and sports and the National Olympic Committee of Greece that took in our team for free covering all the expenses. 

    No doubt, the Ukrainian athletes did their best and ended up with 13 different medals.

    I am especially pleased that my personal coach (he is from Kharkiv) Valeriy Nikulin’s athletes have been leaving all international platforms with medals for the last few years.  

     In the 55 kg weight class, Svitlana Samuliak won two silver medals in the snatch and total, her results:

     Snatch – 89 kg, SILVER

    Clean&Jerk – 103 kg

    Total – 192 kg, SILVER

      Another athlete from Kharkiv Alina Zakharchenko ended up with a silver medal in the snatch (90 kg) in the 59 kg weight class. Congratulations to her coaches – Yevgen Shylov and Vitaliy Grebelnyi. 

     Our boys got even more medals and we can’t help rejoicing at that. 

     Maksym Dombrovskyi from Kyiv grabbed his first gold at the Worlds:

     Snatch – 155 kg, SILVER

     Clean&Jerk – 190 kg, GOLD

     Total – 345 kg, GOLD 


    Congratulations to the coach – Vitaliy Roshuor. By the way, years ago he used to train Sergii Putsov who is one of the main authors of the training programs on 

     Only a few kilos stopped Nikita Rubanovskii from stepping on the podium in total (by the way, he is from the Chernigiv school and was brought up by Dmytro Sholokh). 

    He managed to win 2 bronze medals in the 102 kg weight class: 163 kg in the snatch and 195 kg in the clean&jerk. That is a wonderful debut at the Worlds! 

    But Bogdan Goza’s victory in the 109 kg weight class was the highest Ukrainian result and the most impressive show. He managed to become the junior world champion for the second time and, on top of that, replaced his previous world record in the snatch with another two.  

      Bogdan is an athlete from the Lviv weightlifting school which has its own great traditions and has nurtured many outstanding champions. 

    According to his coach Andrii Gentosh, Bogdan’s result at the Worlds is the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics:

    Snatch – 195 kg, GOLD

    Clean&Jerk – 215 kg, GOLD

    Total – 410 kg, GOLD

       Bogdan became the absolute junior world champion as he lifted the biggest total in relation to his body weight based on the Sinclair system. He devoted his victory to the Armed Forces of Ukraine! 

     We all really want Bogdan to continue his growth and expand his medal collection on the adult platform as well.  

      Ukraine got some medals in the 109+ weight class too. Bogdan Taranenko had his first international performance and made a success right away – 2 bronze medals in the snatch (167 kg) and total (374 kg). 

Bogdan has been brought up by a legendary Ukrainian coach Oleksandr Savon who has prepared numerous talented weightlifters. There was Roman Sevosteev among them too – the 90’s world and European medalist and Bogdan’s second coach. 

    By the way, Bogdan has a very symbolic last name – the one a legendary weightlifter Leonid Taranenko has. This man used to hold the absolute world record in the clean&jerk – 266 kilos – for more than 20 years. 

     Unfortunately, Bogdan’s hometown Berdyansk is occupied by russians now. We all hope that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will very soon banish them from his city. 

     Thanks to our American FRIEND and BROTHER Steve Glavan / @sickansgles for the best photos, and also @weightlifting_ukraine for the help in the Ukrainian weightlifting media development. 

     During this tough period of Ukraine’s history, you can help Ukraine against russian aggression:

  1. Direct help to the Ukrainian Forces. Here are the links to reliable funds:

  1. Join the anti-war movement in your country:

  1. 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: @sickansgles






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