A long afternoon of picking up extremely heavy things and putting them down again began the 85kg mens group B snatch… whatever that is.
We got started with Malta’s Kyle Micallef attempting 118kg and failing on all three tries. As if to rub salt in Micallef’s wounds the next man up, Morocco’s Khalid El Aabidi, hoisted 120kg with some ease. Next up Christian Amoah of Ghana picked up 121kg and then 125kg. Trying to best him El Aabidi came back out with 127kg on the bar but couldn’t take it. Amoah snatched 130kg but they were just the lightweights of the division.
The first Brazilian on stage Welisson Rosa Da Silva put 140kg into the air with ease but was matched by the loud, angry and mulletted Finn Milko Olavi Tokola and Hong Kong’s Tan Tai Hoang. Things continued in much the same vein for a while, more colours appeared on the bar and more large men walked onto stage to lift it. Kiwi Richard Patterson failed at 149kg the first time but got it up on his final attempt much to his relief.
At 150kg Canadian Pascal Plamondon was introduced to the competition and completed his first lift with ease but Rosa Da Silva failed on his final attempt much to the disappointment of the crowd favourite.
The end of the snatch session came with Frenchman Giovanni Bardis just making 165kg at his final attempt. He lead by 5kg in the standings over Theodoros Iakovidis and a clear 10kg up on Plamondon.
Going into the clean & jerk we lost Micallef who no doubt headed out the door as soon as his third snatch failed. El Aabidi got us underway instead, getting 153kg up without much problem but Amoah failed to even clean the bar, never mind jerk it. However, he managed it on his second attempt. El Aabidi was done with a success at 165kg, looking extremely relieved and pleased with himself.
Then at 170kg the big Finn Tokolawas back with a success and a huge scream of joy as he slammed the bar down like he was Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant, but he couldn’t get 175kg up and looked very ginger walking away from the stage. On attempt number 3 he got 175kg up only to have to stagger for a bit with it to control the lift. The strain of it must have been too much because after a typical celebratory yell he seemed to pass out on his way to the back and had to be helped off stage.
Rosa Da Silva put 180kg over his head on the first attempt to get a huge reaction from the crowd but unfortunately that was the last successful lift he would have. Croatia’s Amar Music also put 180kg up but at the second attempt and was joined by Hoang. As if to annoy those tasked with adding weight to the bar New Zealand’s Edward Patterson lifted at 181kg before we had a string of failure at 185kg.
First Hoang failed to end his afternoon and then Plamondon failed his first clean & jerk too only to make his second. The snatch leader Giovanni Bardis entered and lifted 185kg before Theodoros Iakovidis lifted 186kg along with Music but Patterson failed at 186kg and 187kg to crash out.
South Korean Donju Yu entered with a huge 190kg lift, Plamondon ended his day there with success and Iakovidis lifted it too but Bardis failed, heaping pressure on himself. Instead though he put 192kg in the air on his final lift. Needing to put up huge weight the others went to beat him, but no one could. In the end Bardis took the day with a total weight of 357kg ahead of Iakovidis on 350kg and Plamondon with 345kg.
Samira Ouass of Morocco got us underway with a beautiful 70kg snatch on her first go. She then up up 75kg before failing at 80kg. The Turkish Assiya Ipek was then on her own, putting 83kg before failing on 85kg – but that was nothing compared to what was to come. We quickly got up to 92kg with the Armenian Sona Poghosyan, followed by Natalia Priscepa of Moldova putting up 93kg. Everyone cleared 97kg before Priscepa and Poghosyan failed and left at 100kg.
Mexico’s Alejandra Garza Garza put 98kg up on the second attempt but failed at 101kg before Mary Opeloge of Samoa bowed out with only 100kg lifted. The clear class of this group though was Chile’s Maria Fernanda Valdes Paris. She went failed twice at 107kg before finally getting up on the last attempt. It was a risky strategy but it paid off.
Going into the clean and jerk Valdes Paris had a huge 7kg lead and once again she sat and watched while everyone else lifted and failed before she even took to the podium.
Poghsyan completed all her lifts to a max of 126kg, and Garza Garza matched her to keep a 1kg lead but when Valdes Paris got up it was all over. She swept 135kg over her head with ease before failing out at 142kg, nevertheless it was academic as she took group B with a total of 242kg over Garza Garza’s 224kg & Poghosyan’s 223kg.