WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2017: HOW IT WAS
The majority saw the World Championship 2017 on TV - which means they saw what the camera wanted you to see. In this article, I'll try to tell you everything that we missed.
For those who don’t know, the city of Anaheim is one hour away from LAX (Los Angeles). A year ago I held a seminar there, so this area was already familiar to me. The city is located in the Anaheim hills and it is large area (2 million people).
Anaheim Convention Center is a huge exhibition center. It is the size of an airport and it is surrounded by a whole complex of hotels. In short, there is no better place for a complex event like the World Championship. Having everything nearby is convenient and logical. I heard complaints from some athletes about the quality of the food they had to eat, but you can’t please everyone - different cultures, different standards of living, different tastes. According to rumors, the World Youth Weightlifting Championship is already scheduled for here.
The competition place really was as wonderful as looked on TV. I was pleased with the Full HD monitors on the stage, computer graphics, background music and even a smoke machine, which is something I don’t remember from previous competitions.
I want to note that paid entrance to the competitions (the ticket cost was $30) for our sport is a very rare phenomenon. Nevertheless, the Convention Center was full of spectators for the performances. And the competition of athletes in the “+105 kg” category was generally more than incredible - flags, sirens and the most powerful support from the fans of the Iranian and Georgian teams.
I counted 10 cameras, so what you saw on TV looked really slick. All competitions were broadcast on EUROSPORT, ESPN3 and a number of national channels.
The exit of each athlete from the platform was like a mini show unto itself. After lifting on a huge screen, the words "GOOD LIFT" or "NO LIFT" appeared in a stunning display. And, of course, the American sponsors were really something. Slogans like “Loaders, put more weights on the bar" stayed in my head for a long time!
Of course, it was very thrilling for me to go to the competition platform and into the warm-up zone. From my first step onto the stage I felt a surge of adrenaline, and my pulse raced. Anyone who has performed at the competitions will understand me. The warm-up area had a standard look - 15 brand new platforms and bars - nothing too flashy.
It should be noted that the press center, the judges' room, the medical zone, the weigh-in were also organized at a high level.
The training zone for athletes also impressed me as a person to whom, before getting into the national team, the word ELEIKO sent a shiver running through my body. I’d only dreamed of ever holding a bar from this brand. And yet, here were 45 platforms, with new male and female bars and Championship branded discs.
Special thanks to the organizers for the opportunity to observe the training of national teams. As a coach I found that particularly useful and interesting.
As we have all seen from the posts made to social networks, there were many interesting things in the training hall. There were small exhibitions held within the Championship as it progressed which kept the spectators from getting bored between appearances of weight categories. For me it was significant because it gave me the opportunity to introduce my trademark of clothes and sports equipment -"Warm Body Cold Mind" - at an international event of this level for the first time.
Once again, I have more words of praise for ELEIKO. Their booth was really the coolest, not only because of the quality and excellence of their design, but also because they had 2 platforms with a full set of male and female bars which everyone could try out and, believe me, there were lots of people who wanted to try. It created a really sporting and friendly atmosphere. In my opinion, theirs was the best and most effective advertising of sports equipment.
Returning to the media support - there really were a lot of photographers and journalists. The competition was filmed for IWF, for sports TV channels, websites and YouTube. Videos and photos appeared on the internet almost instantly. All of the content was of high quality and taken from several different angles. In a word, all media resources - especially IWF, Hookgrip, ATG, Sickangles, BarBend, FloElite - thank you for being there and helping to popularize our sport.
Regarding the politics and doping scandals, I don’t much want to write about it. The absence of 9 countries was noticeable, because we understood there could potentially be 135 more athletes than there were. On the other hand, the World saw prizewinners and World champions from new countries: India, Chile, New Zealand, USA. Undoubtedly, these successes will be a stimulus and impetus for the further development of Olympic weightlifting in the World and especially in these countries, because we all understand that the state supports the sport when it brings medals on the World level.
To sum up, it must be said that, unequivocally, this Championship was a success. Weightlifting is gaining momentum. There are new names and new leader countries, as well as new World records, more and more being set at these competitions. Things that have never been done before are being accomplished now, and that is thanks to the competitive spirit brought out by the fans, and by the media, when events like this are brought to a wider audience. There are new names and new leader countries, as well as new World records, which have been set a lot in these competitions, remember Georgian Lasha Talakadze’s snatch (+105) - 220 kg, it has never happened in the history of weightlifting ever before.
Aleksey Torokhtiy & Team
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