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European Championships 2003 Report 

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European Championships 2003:
Report and pictures

Hi from Tom Goegebuer in Loutraki (with Cactus hat)


From 15th till 20th of April the European Weightlifting Championships took place in the seaside town Loutraki, a spa resort situated 80 km west from Athens (Greece).
31 countries  participated in the men's championships (with 128 men) and 21 countries in the women's (with 78 women).

The competitions were organized in the sports hall “Georgios Galanopoulos”, a nice sports hall that proved to be too small when more than 3000 spectators wanted to see the 94 kg men with the come-back of Kakhi Kakhiasvillis.  

Overall these championships were  a success. The organization was good and the lifters offered thrilling fights and records. The results can be checked on the official website: http://www.weightlifting.gr/loutraki2003/index.html .

My personal result was only partly satisfying. After my back injury , I was already happy that my 160th competition could be this European championship. I wasn't yet in my best shape, but I had snatched 120 a few times and I knew I had some reserves in the jerk with my best 142.5 in the last months. 
So I was really disappointed with my snatch result of 115 kg (10th place). 
After a successful lift with 115kg I missed 120 kg twice.  
I was competing for the victory in the B-group against a Greek lifter and schools came to support him. 
Unfortunately they made a terrible noise when I had to lift, and only stopped yelling when the Greek lifter was on the platform. Completely out of concentration I couldn't snatch the otherwise light 120kg. 
Luckily the officials could bring back the silence for the jerk, and I made three good lifts, ending with 145 kg (9th place). 
My moderate total of 265 kg (61.4 kg, 372.65 sinclair) brought me 10th place, which still is not too bad for a Belgian lifter.  

My friend Keith, a weightlifting fan and amateur photographer took pictures of my lifting. Thanks mate!
(You can check his action pictures and report on http://www.ripsteel.org.uk)
Click on the pictures for a bigger version.

Snatch series
Note on the second picture how close that 120 kg was. 
In the third snatch the asymmetric jump makes it clear how distracted I was.
1st snatch Tom Goegebuer , 115 kg,  European championships (by KL) 2nd snatch Tom Goegebuer, 120 kg, EC 2003 Loutraki (by KL) 3rd snatch Tom goegebuer, 120 kg, EC 2003 Loutraki (by KL)

Jerk series
Note the difference in height between the 2nd jerk (picture 1) and the 3rd (picture 3). 
Although I cleaned 145 kg pretty well, I couldn't get up easily so the jerk was quite a struggle and it can be read on my face also. Not that I have such a pretty smile on the others ;-) . 
2nd Jerk, Tom Goegebuer, 142.5 kg, EC 2003 Loutraki (by KL) 3rd clean, Tom Goegebuer, 145 kg, EC 2003 (by KL) 3rd jerk, Tom Goegebuer, 145 kg, EC 2003 Loutraki (by KL)

Here some of my pictures to give you an overall impression of the championships


It was the second time that I lifted in a big competition in Greece and again I was amazed by the popularity of weightlifting in Greece. It already started when I arrived at the airport. I saw a big publicity from Visa with a weightlifter on it. When we went out of the airport my attention was drawn by a bus with a huge poster of Pyrros Dimas in action:

  Triple Olympic champion weightlifting - Pyrros Dimas

Weightlifting seems to be the second most popular sport (after basketball) and several commercials on television (for coffee, the national bank,...) with the Greek head coach and his lifters seemed to prove it further. 

The lifters of the Greek national team were usually surrounded by loads of youngsters asking for autographs.
Especially the two female lifters Tsakiri Anastasia and Kastritsi Charaklia seemed to be very popular. 
I think it could have something to do with their looks :-) 

Kastritisi, -58 kg, 200 kg total, 4th place.

Greek Weighlifting girl Kastritsi, -58 kg


Tsakiri Anastasia, -63 kg , 220 kg total, 1st place

Greek toplifting lady Tsakiri Anastasia

Tsakiri Anastasia

The hotel was situated in a very nice surrounding, the training accommodation was great and the competition hall was also all right (a bit too small maybe). One small minus point was the rather big distance between the hotels, training hall and competition hall. However the transport between them was well organized.

Hotel Poseidon
Hotel Poseidon Loutraki
Hotel Poseidon Loutraki

Traininghall 1, European championships Loutraki

First training hall with  7 platforms

Training hall 2, EC 2003 Loutraki

Second training hall with 17 platforms

Galanopolus Sport Hall , European weightlifting championships

Galanopolous Sports Hall, getting filled 1 hour before the competition

Warm up -94 kg B-group, Loutraki

Behind the 'scene', the Warm-up room. 

I was helping in coaching the Dutch Athlete Adem Kala.

Adem Kala, -94 kg in warm up EC 2003

Adem Kala in the warm-up. -94 kg, 342.5 kg total, 9th place.

As always I had a great time lifting , seeing my friends again and meeting new friends....

Laurent Pedreno, -62 kg, France

My French friend (and adversary) Pedreno Laurent, who twisted his foot in snatching 120 kg.

Samsom Matam, France , -62 kg

My French friend and adversery Samsom Matam, -62kg, 292.5 kg total, 4 th place!

Dabhia Rigaud and Michal Ponchard, France

The pretty French Dabhia, (-48 kg, 155 kg total, 4th place) and congenial Michael Ponchard (-56 kg).

Heidi Kanervisto, internet in Casino Hotel

My very good Finish friend  Heidi (-58 kg, 182.5 kg total, 13th place) and Miika and coach Juhamatti.




 Copyright © Tom Goegebuer                                   last update: 2004-10-02