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World University Championships 2003 Report 

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Tom and Steve with the traditional barbell

World University Championships 2003:
Report and pictures

9th of July I flew to Milan to fulfill my task as a coach for the Belgian lifter Steve Folens. 
This year the championships for university students was organized in Pavia, about 50 km south of Milan.

The results can be checked on the official website: http://www.ginnasticapavese.it/pavia2003/results/default.htm

 I'll try to give an objective report based on our experiences and on the opinions I heard from the other teams.

The teams were lodged in 6 different (small) hotels in Salice Terme, a beautiful spa resort located at nearly 40 km from Pavia. The official website quoted that the facilities (like swimming pool and health treatments) of this resort were "at full disposal of The teams and IWF officials". However it turned out that all these were paying. 
The spreading of information (results, bus schedules,..) to the different hotels could have been much better. 

The training hall was well equipped and about 10 minutes walking from the hotels. 
Temperatures around 35 degrees Celsius made the training- and competition hall very hot, but enough water was at disposal of the teams.

Gomez Olvina Marinely (Guatemala -48 kg), Folens Steve (+105 kg , Belgium), Ortega Janet (Mexico, -58 kg), Medrano Luis (Guatemala, -62 kg).  
Gomez Olvina Marinelly (Guatemala) Steve Folens (Belgium)
Ortega Janet (Mexico) Medrano Luis (Guatemala)

As usual the big distance between the lodging places and the competition hall was found to be a rather negative aspect by most of the participants. The shuttle bus needed about an hour and they didn't drive very frequent. There was one till two hours between the busses in spite of the promised 30 minutes quoted on the inscription papers and website.  Besides that, the bus and competition schedule weren't' t tuned on each other (no shuttle right after the competition, but in the middle of competitions etc..). All of this made it fairly impossible for the teams to go and watch the competitions on a regular base.

The competition hall was nice and the competitions itself passed of perfectly.
About 75 male competitors and more than 50 female lifters delivered a high international standard and several world records were broken. Unfortunately the spectators were very spare. 

Line up of the +105 kg Steve Folens (Belgium, +105 kg)

Besides some minor points, these championships offered again some nice competitions and they were again a nice meeting of the weightlifting family... 

Turkish team
The turkish team became second in the nations ranking with Sunar Erdal (-85 kg), Sen Ferit (-77 kg), Arslan Emrah (-69 kg),Karademir Emine (-53 kg)

Turkish Team

We became very good friends with the congenial team from Guatemala

Gomez Olvina Marinely (-48 kg)                               Bran Joel (+105 kg)

Marinely from Guatemala

"Little" Joel from Guatemala

Ruana Ogla (-58 kg)
Ruana Ogla from Guatemala


Belgians with friends from Guatemala

Folens Steve, Bran Joel, Covemaecker Veerle,

Gomez Olvina Marinely and Ruana Ogla    

Weightlifting Friends in a pub in Salice Terme

The Irish team, Belgian team, Guatemalian team and Polish coach in a pub.

The team from Chinese Taipei:

Chinese Taipei

Chinese Taipei

The last evening there was a closing banquet as usual. 
It was organized a in a nice surrounding t the university of Pavia. 

Lots of food was waiting for us on the tables, but we didn't know that we were also part of a banquet. 
Yes, thousands of mosquitos suddenly noticed the delicious dish of "weightlifters meat".
Shirts or pants were of no use to protect us, they went right through it. 
People were continuously moving, hitting around and waving with everything they could get in a desperate attempt to survive the attack of the killer-mosquitos :-)  

Although it wasn't very enjoyable , the situation also made me laugh.

Closing Banquet with killer mosquitos

The Asian team, waving with plates to keep the mosquitos away, scratching the bites and jumping from leg to leg. 

It was a funny sight ...  

Maryse Turcotte, CAN -58 kg

Famous Maryse Turcotte from Canada (-58 kg) at the banquet. 

Keeping her smile, even when under severe attack of killer- mosquitos. :-)



 Copyright Tom Goegebuer                                   last update: 2003-07-21