Report and pictures
From 19th till 24th of April the 84th Men's European championships
and 18th women's competitions were organized in Sofia, the
capital of Bulgaria.
Sofia, has a
rather typical "communistic style", with rather depressing and
dirty blocks of houses, damaged roads,... However , it is clear that
they are doing a lot of effort and newer buildings are rising
Rather nice is the view on the snow-covered Vitosha mountains.
Overall the organization of these
European championships were much better than in 2000. The Bulgarian
federation had hired a professional company to take care of a few
aspects of organization, which turned out to be positive with less
waiting time for accreditation, ...
The biggest minor point was the big distance between the two hotels, the
hall and the competition hall, which made the use of taxi's often
Most of the competitions were quite
interesting. The trend of the last 4 years with lower performance levels
due to better doping control still continued but the density of the
results was quite high, which made it rather difficult to predict the
Full results men
This was my 7th senior European championship and my 195th competition ever.
In 2000 I also competed in Sofia at the European championships. At
that time I was in a very good shape and started with 120 snatch but
wasn't able to make a successful lift. After dropping 147.5 kg to soon
in the jerk I went to 155 and missed twice. So I didn't make any successful
So you can imagine these Championships had a special meaning for me and
I planned a revenge ...
Like last year I started in the A-group and those who
watched Eurosport TV could follow my lifts.
I was in a good shape and totaled
twice 277,5 kg in the previous months. My best ever result in a European
or world championship was 270 total so I really wouldn't satisfy for
less than 272.5 total. .
I achieved my goals with 275 kg. I started with a successful 120 kg
snatch. in the second attempt I pushed the barbell a little forward and
had to run to hold it. Unfortunately I came a step short and still
dropped it in the end. In the third attempt I was able to lift it.
The jerk started well with a light 145 kg. Also the second attempt with
150 kg passed so I decided to go for a new total record of 280. The
clean with 155 was high but I lost a bit my balance in the clean and
couldn't bounce to get up. The struggle to come out of the squat
position cost me so much energy that I couldn't jerk properly so I
My total of 275 kg (60.7 kg, 402.55 Sinclair) brought me 6th place.
Theoretically more was possible but this result was more than
My friend Keith, a weightlifting fan and amateur
photographer took loads of splendid actions pictures.
Visit also his webpage and enjoy over 1000 pics on http://www.ripsteel.org.uk
His pictures of me are on page 3.
Enjoy also my pictures:
Click on the pictures for a bigger version.
My 120 snatch attempt
and 150 clean and jerk.
Am I huge or am I tiny....?
The undisputed winner of my class, the triple Olympic
Champion Mutlu Halil and the winner of the +105 kg Viktors Ščerbatihs.
Three days before competition Mutlu easily front squatted twice 190kg
The training hall Dianabad was the same as in 2000, but this time they
had renovated everything so it looked a lot better:
Warm up room (This picture was taken by Ron and
The Universiada competition Hall was nice and when Bulgarians
competed the Hall was filled and the atmosphere was great.
Better be a nice boy when u are surrounded by three strong Polish
From left to right, Ufnal Magdalena, The Tominator,
Nurkiewicz Anna and Kuras Eva.
With a referee like the Czech Marcela, it can be sometimes hard to
concentrate on your lifts ;-).
On the left, former weightlifting champion David Morgan, now
co-commentating for Eurosport.
After the competitions athletes need to relax and have fun...
From left to right:
Samson Matam (France 62), British coach & Dutch Team leader
Anneke, Sarah Moore (UK, -75), Joanne Calvinno (UK, -53), David
Morgan (UK) and me.
And if one knows how to party, it is the all over known coach
from the Netherlands, Dionisio Rozalina who could even make
Valentina Popova (Russia, -75) "shake"
Dionisio, Valentina and husband
showing that after hard training a little fun is good to reload
Heidi Harju from Finland cleaning 95 kg.
Heidi, this time preparing the jerk.
||Me together with the Finish team. My friend Kari
Kinnunen, coach Juhamatti Eskelinen, Toni Puurunen (-94 kg) and
Antti Everi (+105kg).
Picture was taken by the Finish referee Taisto Kuoppala.