Report and pictures
From 20th till 25th
of April the
European Weightlifting Championships took place in Kiev, the head
capital of Ukraine. Many athletes still wanted to qualify for the
Olympics and all participants records from this Olympic cycle were
broken with 177 participants in the man's field (from 32
countries) and 110 women (from 23 countries).
the field of the men the participants numbers have not been surpassing
150 since 1998.
Nonetheless the level of the results was a bit lower than in previous
Olympic cycle just as with the World championships results. The stricter
and more frequent doping controls probably play a role in this.
Nonetheless these championships offered thrilling fights with a very
close participants field. For example in the 85 kg and 105 kg class the
13th place was only 20 kg less than the gold medal!
female weightlifting however keeps developing strongly and many European
records were broken.
With the first place the Polish female team got 2 tickets for the
Olympics and France and Spain each one place.
The results can be
checked on the IWF website: http://www.iwf.net/results/results.html
the organization was of good level on sportive field, the administrative
side was sometimes less. The accreditation took very long, the general
information spare and no scale in the second hotel . The first two days
there was no screen around the weigh-in scale and the sauna hadn't
On the other hand the short walking distance between hotels, training
hall and competition hall were very positive.
Kiev is a big city with a huge contrast between the 'poor' and the
'rich' , with a lot of expensive cars driving around, a lot of very
expensive clubs next to cheap cars and pubs.
were organized in the sports hall “Palace of Sports”, a not very
modern but well equipped big building.
This was my
6th senior European championship and my 179th competition ever.
I started in the A-group for the second time in my life and those who
watched Eurosport TV could follow my lifts.
I was in a good shape and totaled
twice 270 kg in March so I wanted to repeat this total.
I started with a successful 117,5 kg and 122.5 kg. I didn't finish my
pull in the third attempt and missed 125 kg.
However 122.5 was only 2.5 kg below my best and the same as I did in the
preparation so I was happy with that.
The jerk started well with a light 142.5 kg. I cleaned 147.5 kg in the
same way and got a little too self confident, didn't concentrate enough
and missed the jerk. In the third attempt I cleaned it quite good but I
felt really weak after the clean and missed the jerk. That was disappointing
and I was angry to have made this beginners mistake on the second
My total of 265 kg (61.1 kg, 381.251 sinclair) brought me
5th place. It equaled my best placing from 2002 and was very
satisfying. I can be proud because this is the best placing
from a Belgian athlete on European championships seniors since more than
This 5th place was also better
than the sixth place the Belgian Olympic committee demanded for Olympic
Games. However my 265 kg total is not enough to end in the top 15 on the
world ranking list. so I have to wait and see if the IWF will reallocate
some unused quotas and assigns a
place for me to the Olympic committee.
My friend Keith, a weightlifting fan and amateur
photographer took pictures of lifting.
You can check his action pictures and report on http://www.ripsteel.org.uk
Click on the pictures for a bigger version.
In the first picture I'm waiting with my coach (father) till the
technical controller allows me to go on the stage.
Meanwhile Eurosport is filming. From the third picture you can form an
idea of the impression to stand on the platform in a huge sports hall
(It's my second clean with 147.5 kg).
Here some of my pictures to give you an overall impression of the
There were two
training halls , each with approximately 8 platforms.
"Lonely" Belgian training with the French team.
My French friend and
-62kg, 277.5 kg total, 4th place.
One of the strongest families in the world with 3 brothers lifting in
these EC: David, Samson and Alphonse Matam On the previous picture
Samson. Here you see David Hercule Matam, - 85 kg, 165 +195, 13th. (On the
second picture Alphonse is watching).
Agata Wrobel, +75 kg, 130+157.5, 1st
A few days before her competition she did front
squats with 200 kg!
My Finish friend Heidi (-53 kg, 170 kg total,
Sini Kukkonen from Finland (-48 kg, 60+75, 13th) showing that
weightlifting is more than being strong...
Behind the 'scene', the Warm-up room.
I was helping the Finnish coach..
Kerannen (-69, 92.5+115, 9th).
Finnish Miika Huhhtala and coaches just behind the
Notice the screen were the attempts are shown.
Miika Huhtala (-105, 165+200, 15th)
Agata Wrobel from Poland winning the gold with
130+157.5 in the class +75 kg.
You've always wondered how the faces behind the Eurosport
weightlifting voices look like?
Marc Huster, ex German toplifter co-commentating
with Ron Ringguth for the German Eurosport.
It's a very boring and ungrateful job as you can
Polish beauty Alexandra Klejnowska (-58,
95+127.5, gold) visiting the media kings.
Marc Huster and David Morgan. I suspect they are
telling the world how great I am ..
David is an
ex international British toplifter, co-commentating in the
As always we had a great time after
competition, meeting friends and making new ones.
It was fun. Everybody, try to be there next year in Leipzig!
Enjoying the company of this sweet Albanian girl Gerta Suli
(-58, 75+87.5, 14th).
German Gina Hoog in a good mood after competing well in the
+75 kg (100+127.5, 9th)
In a sportsbar in Kiev with French Samson Matam and Virginie
Lachaume (-53, 77.5+102.5, 5th).