Monday, August 3, 2009
Ventspils Atlants Competition
The event started at noon on Saturday, August 2 with an opening ceremony for the 14 countries represented. Competitive division were broken up into Male / Female and then Youth, Amateurs and Masters, body weight categories were added from there. The youth jerk competition was first to start, followed by amateurs and finally masters, and I knew I had a while to wait, being in the last heat of the day, I was off to get some much needed food.
My warm-up felt good after the long wait and I was eager to get on the platform. I was on platform #6 next to a Lithuanian with the last name Savickas while world champion Fedor Fuglov from the Ukraine was on platform #1 next to my roommate and good friend Gregor Sobocan from Slovania. We started into our 10 minute set and the first minute felt great, 8 reps per minute was the plan. After 3 minutes, I felt like I was sinking, getting shorter as my legs were giving out. At the 5 minute mark I made the decision to slow down to 6 reps per minute to try and save energy. At 7 minutes standing was no longer an option and I was not happy with only 7 minutes and 52 reps total.
(Fedor Fuglov and Gregor Sobocan)
(Myself and Gregor Sobocan)
This was the end of Day 1, Saturday, for the Ventspils competition and a departure from the usual competition day consisting of both jerks and snatches on the same day with a minimal of 20 minutes between events. It was very welcomed this trip as it gave me another night to rest and come back again stronger.
Day 2, Sunday, started with the woman's snatch competition. Again, youth were first, followed by amateurs and masters. The American women competing this trip were; Chriss Dattner, Maya Garcia, and Cate Imes. All gave tremendous effort; Chriss set a PR with 64 snatches, Cate was strong with 138 and Maya's 133 rep effort earned her the best lifter award when bodyweight was calculated in. Truly an awesome effort by our women, congrats to all.
With our women done competing, I still had some time to wait. Interspersed throughout both days of competition were kettlebell juggling acts and kettlebell juggling was a part of this competition with the female world kettlebell juggling champion present and competing. The performances were extremely well done and the flips and rotations they were performing was quite amazing. Very much reminded me of figure skating.
Finally we reached the end of the day and my flight. I was moved to platform #5 due to Gregor leaving early to catch a flight back home for work. Snatching is what I do best and I REALLY wanted to make up for my poor performance the day before. I was still a little nervous, as my shirt was visibly bouncing on my chest from my heartbeat as we walked out to the platforms. Nonetheless, my set started smoothly at 15 reps per minute as planned. After a little over 4 minutes on my right arm i was starting to lose my grip, so I chose to switch arms after 64 reps. I started into my left arm nice and smooth again at 15 rep per minute. Towards the end my pace slowed but I knew I wanted to go the whole 10 minutes. I believe I stood with the bell extended overhead for 30 seconds at the end because I knew another downswing would result in me losing the bell. It was a great feeling to look over and see that Fedor Fuglov was the only other athlete still on the platform lifting when the clock hit 10 minutes.
With the awards ceremony over, we were invited over to Vasily Ginko's (secretary of the IUKL and 7-time world champion) house for an evening barbeque with the competitors who were still in town. It was a great way to finish off our stay and relax with friends.