Early Sunday afternoon I caught another cab–with a slightly less crazy driver–over to the venue for the last day of lifting. I had had a pot of Nescafe with breakfast and a couple of Turkish coffees already, so I was feeling pretty sharp and ready for the competition, if a little jittery. But with two A sessions more or less back to back I wanted to be ready.
The sessions did not disappoint. In the 105s I was primarily looking forward to watching Russia’s Dmitriy Klokov lift, who always looks like an animal, on and off the platform. I saw him several years ago at the Arnolds and I had no idea who he was, apart from the fact that he was crazy strong and wore Zubaz pants without a hint of irony. I’ve now followed him in several world championships and an Olympics, and the intensity he brings is always impressive. I remember watching him coach Chigishev at the 2008 Olympics, and he was screaming in the back hallway as though he were competing. This guy wears intensity like a finely tailored suit. In a few years people will get tattoos of him screaming on their backs, instead of gorillas.
Seeing him lift in person was outstanding. He is going full bore from the moment he walks towards the platform, and I don’t think he stops radiating energy until days after the competition is over. He was probably screaming in the security line at the airport and at random intervals on the plane, terrorizing other passengers and the crew. That’s assuming he even took a plane; I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he simply ran, screaming the entire time and lifting things along the way. It’ll probably be another few days before he’s calm enough to speak without shouting.
Following the snatch portion of the competition Klokov was in first, though he was only separated from the next competitor–Russian teammate Vladimir Smorchkov–by two kilos, and Poland’s Marcin Dolega was another two behind. The latter two only made their openers, while Klokov powered through all three snatches, presumably scaring the bar into submission.
Yet–as a weightlifting announcer once astutely put it–meets are won in the clean and jerk. This was a tight battle between Klokov, Smorchkov, and Dolega. Klokov’s 223 on his second attempt set a solid 415 for the other two men to shoot for. Smorchkov, lighter than Klokov, needed 225 for the win and made the lift but was turned down, ending with a 410 total and third place overall. Dolega needed more–227–and came through to take the lead.
Klokov came out for the same weight but failed, perhaps having expended too much energy on screaming at things. This gave Dolega the win and left him with one last lift. Why not take a world record? The bar was loaded to 238, but that was about as much action as it saw. Dolega came and did a nice shrug with it, before placing it back where he found it.
More on the 105 plusses later, and some videos…