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Eight reigning Olympic champions to take part in World Weightlifting Championship in Almaty

08 november 2014, 17:53
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Olympic champions Svetlana Podobedova, Maiya Maneza, Zulfiya Chinshanlo and bronze medalist Mariya Grabovetskaya. Photo courtesy of the official website of Kazakhstan's Weightlifting Federation.
Olympic champions Svetlana Podobedova, Maiya Maneza, Zulfiya Chinshanlo and bronze medalist Mariya Grabovetskaya. Photo courtesy of the official website of Kazakhstan's Weightlifting Federation.

Eight reigning Olympic champions will take part in the World Weightlifting Championship that is taking place in Almaty on November 8-16, 2014, Tengrinews reports citing Vesti.kz. Four of them are Kazakh weightlifters.

At the championship Kazakhstan is represented by gold-winners of the 2012 London Olympics Zulfiya Chinshanlo, Maiya Maneza and Ilya Ilyin. Svetlana Podobedova was also expected to participate, and would have made the ninth reigning Olympic champion at the championship, but she had to withdraw days before the event becuase of an injury. 

Another five Olympic champions who are taking part in the championship are Om Yun-chol, Kim Un-Guk and Rim Jong-sim from China, Adrian Zielinski from Poland and Behdad Salimikordasiabi from Iran.

Apart from the eight Olympic champions, twelve reigning World Champions are also taking part in the tournament, five of them represent Russia.

Kazakhstan’s national team has two main goals: to win two gold medals and as much points as possible to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. With the athletes that the Kazakh team has, Kazakhstan has good chances to achieve these goals.

In the female team, the main candidate for a medal is the Olympic champion and silver medal winner of the Asian Games in Incheon Zulfiya Chinshanlo who competes in the -53 kilo weight category. She is expected to be in an excellent shape at the championship in Almaty.

Her main opponent is Hsu Shu-ching from Taiwan. At the London Olympic Games in 2012, the Kazakh weightlifter quite easily defeated the Taiwanese contender setting a world record in her weight category by lifting 131 kilos in the clean and jerk. But the latter has gained more experience over the last two years. At the recent Asian Games in Incheon, she came first leaving Kazakh and Chinese weightlifters behind. Chinese weightlifters are certainly strong opponents as well. 

One more candidate for a medal is the Asian Games-2014 champion Margarita Yeliseeva who competes in -43 kilos league. However, winning this time will require very hard work of her, because she was in her best shape during the Asian Games in Incheon.

For the other Kazakh Olympic Champion Maiya Maneza, the World Championship in Almaty will be her first competition after the London Olympic Games in 2012. May expect Manezato end up in the 5th or 6th place. She recently gave birth to a child and has not fully regained her shape yet to compete for a medal. There is also a high possibility that she will switch to -69 kilos weight category from her previous -63 kilos, because Maneza has gained weight after childbirth and additional muscle mass after trainings. 

Another Kazakh weightlifter Karina Goricheva in -63 kilos weight category has a good chance to win a medal after Maneza switches to -69 kilos league, because Goricheva is close to reaching Maneza’s best results. At last year’s championship in Poland, Goricheva became fourth with a very small margin from the third place.

The World Championship in Almaty will be a good start for Kazakh young aspiring athletes Zhazira Zhapparkul and Saule Sadvakasova as well as Gulnaz Nauryzova and Anna Nurmukhabetova in reserve.

In the male team, Ilya Ilyin is expected to clinch gold and if that happens, he will become a four-time World Champion. During his career, he always won gold at large competitions including Asian and World Championships and Olympic Games. Besides, this year the two-times Olympic champion in 94 kilos weight category decided to switch to the 105 kilo league.

Like at the World Championship in 2013, two Kazakh weightlifters Vladimir Sedov and Rustem Sybai will compete in -94 kilos weight category. Both are in Ilya Ilyin’s team. Last year, Sedov worked in pair with Almas Uteshev and both hauled medals: Uteshev won silver and Sedov got bronze.

The World Championship is taking place in Almaty at Baluan Sholak Palace of Culture and Sports located at the crossing of Abay and Baitursinov streets. The ticket price ranges between 500 ($2.8) and 15,000 tenge (nearly $83). Tickets can be purchased at Baluan Sholak Palace of Culture and Sports, Meloman stores and also online via ticketon.kz.

By Assel Satubaldina


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