Tuesday 23 March 2010

Eamonn's experiences

Here is a competition report written by Dr Eamonn Flanagan, who lifted in the Scottish Open on Sunday. He works with the Scottish rugby union as a Strength and Conditioning coach and is based over there. Here is a link to other guest articles from the past year, smoe of which have been written by Eamonn. They have been appreciated by myself and others, so thanks again to the man who helped spread Trexabol throughout our beautiful island.

The 2010 Scottish Open was held in the Glasgow Palace of Art. The Palace has two gyms. A powerlifting and weightlifting gym, home to the Palace of Art Weightlifting Club, was hosting a powerlifting competition. The other gym is a high performance sports gym, run by the Scottish Institute of Sport and home to the Glasgow Warriors Rugby team. It hosted the weightlifting competition. With the two competitions running at the same time there was a lot of lifters and spectators milling about and there was a good buzz about the place. The lifting began with female lifters. The top female lifter was Amy Hamilton, and under 20 lifter from the Palace of Art Weightlifting club who snatched 67kg and clean and jerked 80kg in the 63kg class. Georgi Black from the Kilmarnock Weightlifting Club also impressed with a 73kg snatch and a 93kg clean and jerk to win the 75kg class.

In the lighter men's weight classes there were some impressive performances from young lifters from Kilmarnock Weightlifting Club and the Palace of Art Weightlifting Club. There is alot of young talent in Scottish weightlifting and there should be alot of competition for places at the 2014 Commonwealth Games which will be held in Glasgow. The top lifter in this first men's session was Mark Middleton of Edinburgh University. Middleton, who has competed in Ireland on a few occassions, has recently dropped down to the 62kg class. He opened his account on the day with a 92kg snatch and finished with a very impressive and hard fought clean and jerk at 121kg.

The Kilmarnock Weightlifting Club continued its dominance with victory for Kyle Pearson in the 85kg class. He made all three snatches, each better than the last, to finish on 103kg. He clean and jerked 125kg to seal the win over Palace of Art's Mark Fitzpatrick by 8kg.
Following the men's 85kg class, I began my warm-up. Its not every day one gets to warm up beside a former Olympian and a future Olympian. On the platform to my left was Sydney 2000 Olympian Tommy Yule while to the right was London 2012 hopeful Peter Kirkbride. Tommy snatched 155kg in the 105kg+ class at the games in Sydney. Peter Kirkbride is currently the number 1 ranked British lifter and in the driving seat for a place at the 2012 games. With such lifters in the room it made for a good atmosphere and it was interesting to watch the contrast between both lifters respective warm-up style. Yule began with several sets of muscle snatch making a number of lifts with 70kg and 90kg before dropping back to 70kg to hit quite a few full snatch singles. Kirkbride started his energetic warm-up with a few short, intense bursts of jumping rope and some very explosive empty bar and 60kg hang snatches and power snatches.

Due to some confusion in the timings of the session I was left with a little longer for the warm-up than necessary. I ended up hitting 60kg for 7 or 8 singles as I got a handle on what was happening on the competition platform and how long until I opened. I moved through two singles with 70 and two with 80 before a final warm-up with 90kg. I was then left with very little time to make my way to the platform for my opening attempt at 93kg. I was a little rushed but the weight was routine and I made it fairly easily. I called for 97kg next. It felt light but I let the bar stray too far from my body and I missed it out in front. I took 97kg again and kept it tighter to the body and felt like I made it easily as I received it overhead but perhaps I relaxed a little and it began to drift in front. I chased it a couple of steps forward and held on to complete the lift successfully. I was a bit disappointed with a sub 100kg snatch as I feel I should be hitting 100kg+ more regularly at the moment.

Peter Kirkbride and Tommy Yule continued through their warm-ups. Both lifters seemed confident and composed in the warm-up room. Kirkbride nailed a solid 135kg snatch (see video) before taking the platform for his first attempt at 140kg. From here Kirkbride began to suffer technically in the snatch. There was impressive power and speed on the bar with each attempt but the bar seemed ever so slightly out of place each time. He missed three attempts at 140kg to finish without a total. He didn't re-appear for the clean and jerk. Kirkbride lifts in the European Championships in a couple of weeks time Although he had an off day here, I know from previous experience how impressive a competitor he is and I am sure such a massive competition will bring out the best in him.

Tommy Yule made 137.5kg in the warm-up room (see video) before a warm-up miss at 140kg. On the competition platform he made no mistake and put the 140kg away confidently. Despite missing his second and third snatch he was still on course to make the 105kg qualification total for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

I timed my clean and jerk warm up much better and was much more economical with the number of lifts I did. I began with some bar work and power clean and jerks at 60 and 80kg with a real emphasis on a complete pull and catching the bar as high as possible while whipping the elbows through as quickly as possible. I then took full clean and jerks with 100, 110 and 120kg before taking 130kg on the competition platform. The clean was routine and the jerk felt much snappier than it has in training. This was just the 2nd time in 2010 I had attempted 130kg. I went to 133kg next as I had set myself a pre-competition target of a 230kg total. I left the clean a little in front and as a result caught it with a slightly rounded, weaken back and struggled more than I should have with the recovery. I pushed through though and the jerked followed. I went to 135kg next and the clean felt much better. I finsihed the pull well and caught it in a nice, stable upright position. My leg strength is not particularly good at the moment so although I was in a good position, the recovery was hard work. I drove the jerk and chased it forward a little but just made the lift.

Tommy Yule secured his qualification with his first clean and jerk at 182kg before two misses at 190kg. His 351 Sinclair points meant he finished the competition as overall best lifter.


Post a Comment