Yesterday was my best lifting event yet, by far. To say I’m extremely pleased, is a major understatement. The goal of the day was to lift the 175kg qualifying total, as much as anything, to justify my attendance there. (This is because they let me go, even though I hadn’t managed to lift the 175 qualifying weight before.)
To do this I needed something like a 75kg snatch and a 100kg clean and jerk. Considering my personal best for Snatch was 70kg and I’ve only ever got 100kg on the C&J once before, that was always going to be tough. My recent terrible form hasn’t helped (getting 70kg snatch only 3 times in the last 35ish attempts!) nor was doing my shoulder in last week. On top of that, apparently the rules are that you have to start within 10kg of the qualifying weight, so I had to start at 70kg and 95kg. It entered my mind that I might actually bomb out (miss all 3 lifts) of the snatch!
Still, fortune favours the bold and all that, so after getting up at 5am for the 3 hour drive up to Lilleshall National Sports centre, near Newport, Shropshire I arrived for the 8:30 weigh in and weighed in at 80.3kg. Bang in the middle of the 85kg category (77 – 85kg).
It was basically me and Mark Beck lifting together at the start, and we pretty much took it in turns. I warmed up to two 65kg snatches, and didn’t dare try a 70 in the warm up for fear of missing it and trashing my already shaky confidence. I wanted to go out at least having made all my warm up lifts. I was pleased with the fact that the warm up wasn’t bothering my shoulder at all, so whatever I’ve done to it (it hurts to press the buttons my car radio for example), it wasn’t weightlifting!
Cutting a long story short, I got the 70kg snatch fine, which was a major surprise to me. Sadly my remote control of the camera failed and I didn’t get it on tape. Whilst Mark was doing his 75kg snatch, I ran round to reset the camera and trotted back in time to go out for the big one, my 2nd lift and first go at the elusive 75kg, something I’ve missed twice before in competitions: at the Yorkshire and NE Counties Open, and at the Northern Masters.
I was nervous as hell for the 75kg snatch, but was determined and very pleased when it shot up no problem. New PB, woot! The issue for me has been getting the bar to stop in the right position over my head, so that it’s over my centre of gravity and I can stand up. This time it did and up I popped. I was very pleased. Suddenly however, I was being asked what my next weight was going to be…. I hadn’t given it any thought, the idea that I’d get both my first 2 opening lifts had never crossed my mind! I opted for 77kg, which seemed like the right thing to do.
I can’t wait to get the video uploaded, cos I can tell you, the 77kg was the best snatch I’ve ever done, it was perfect. The bar stopped in just the right place and I got extremely low under it. 77kg, another personal best, and a 10% jump to boot. 28 hours later, I’m still smiling!
After trying to sabotage myself in the warm up for the clean and jerk, by hitting myself in the neck with a 50kg bar, the C&Js actually went very well as well. My opening 95kg was sound and the big 100kg was really great to get up. I failed a 103, but I was past caring by then, I’d beaten my target of 175, instead getting 177kg and was (and am) very pleased with the day’s events. Sadly, the camera failed completely and I missed all the clean & jerks. I’m hoping to get some footage off other peoples flip videos next weekend.
In a final bonus, I was expecting to come 3rd of 3, in the face of competition from a Scottish champion and a Northern Ireland champ. As it turned out, the NI guy came in over weight and so was bumped up to the next category up. The Scottish guy (a very nice fella by the name of Ian Robertson) has been lifting since he was 14 (that’s 25 years) so it’s no real surprise that be won by a large margin. Still, it meant I was 2nd (out of 2, lol) and have another nice trophy to show for it. I’ll get whatever videos etc uploaded when I can.
It was also great to see Pat Atteridge again, as well as the 4 very impressive lifters from his London weightlifting club at Bethnal Green. And last bu not least, it was a pleasure to lift with Mark and see him qualify for the British Seniors, an immensely impressive performance for a 39 year old!