Karen Giloyan analyzes the Armenian weightlifters’ chances at the World Championship: Our main opponents are not as strong as it seems

15:24 - 20 Nov, 2015

The World Weightlifting Championship kicks off in Houston, USA. It will bring together 609 athletes from 98 countries of the world (266 women and 343 men). The Championship is qualifying for the Olympic Games. True, at the last championship we won 7 qualifications (5 men and 2 women) but it’s not final yet, everything will become clear in this championship. Armenia’s team has left for Houston with its best staff.

Our women’s team member Sona Poghosyan (75kg) will compete in Group C, Anna Govelyan (53kg), Izabella Yaylyan (58kg) and the World former champion Nazik Avdalyan (69kg) will come out in Group B. But it doesn’t mean that we haven’t expectations of them. Nazik Avdalyan who has overcome a serious injury and returned to sport can even conquer a medal. And I sincerely believe in it. Anyway, we shouldn’t get ahead of time but be patient. The other Armenian representatives are in the strongest groups. Let’s analyze and understand what chances has each athlete and what we have to expect. Vanik Avetisyan (69kg) made an inicial order of 331kg. Last year at the Championship in Kazakhstan Vanik snatched up 141kg, cleaned and jerked 179 kg and by the result of the double-event ( 320kg) placed 5th. This year at the European Championship in Tbilisi Vanik Avetisyan was the 4th. But the result was lower, 312 kg in the double-event. Moreover, in 2 exercises he snatched up 4kg less than at the World Championship. Now he has initially ordered 11kg more than he had in Kazakhstan. But even this result won’t let him take some prize place. In this weight category the rivalry will be among the North Korean representative Kim Myong Hyouk (was the 3rd in 2014 in Almaty and in 2013 in Vroclav, this year Asian champion), the World Junior Championship winner, the 22 year-old Chinese Shi Zhiyong and the two-time Europe champion and World silver medalist Oleg Chen (Russia). However, Vanik Avetisyan’s fighting character can mix all the cards. In 77 kg weight class Armenia will be represented by the World former champion, Europe three-time champion Tigran Martirosyan and the Europe bronze medalist Andranik Karapetyan. Tigran Martirosyan has initially ordered 370kg. The same weight has also ordered the Chinese London Olympics champion, World three-time champion Lu Xiaoju. The athlete missed the previous world championship. In 2013 in Vroclav he became a world champion in the double-event of 380kg (176+204). Lu Xiaoju is now 31. Tigran Martirosyan also missed the previous world championship because of a shoulder injury. This year in Tbilisi Tigran became a European champion in the double-event of 351kg. After the event he showed higher results in the training camps. If Tigran cleans and jerks 205 kg we’ll have the same result as at the Antalya 2010. A real contender of a gold medal is also the 20 year-old Andranik Karapetyan. Our young weightlifter was the 3rd in Tbilisi and the first at the European Junior Championship. Andranik Karapetyan has initially ordered 365kg. In this category the fight will be rather hot. Among medal pretenders are also the World Junior Championship winner, 21 year-old Chinese Ying Su and his peer a Europe silver medalist the Russian Victor Gets. In 105 weight class the Armenian representative is Simon Martirosyan, the Junior Olympics winner. Last year in Almaty the author of all junior records of the world came out among adults for the first time and took seventh place in the double-event of 396 kg (183+213). Moreover, the snatch result was registered as a world junior record. This year Simon was unwell in Tbilisi although he came in 5th in the double-event of 397kg (181+216). Simon Martirosyan has ordered 415kg in Houston, the same has done the Russian representative, Europe two-time champion Davit Bezhanyan. The 27 year-old Davit was 3rd last year in Almaty. This year he didn’t attend the European Championship. Rumors are spread that Kazakhstan’s team has doping problems and has left for Houston with a weak staff therefore the two-time Olympic champion, four-time World champion Ilya Ilin is missing and this fact makes Simon Martirosyan and Davit Bezhanyan favorites. Here we have another opponents, the Asian champion, 23 year-old Aleksandr Zaychikov (Kazakhstan) and the Europe silver medalist Timur Naniev (Russia). Supposedly, the Iranian team also has doping problems otherwise the Iranian strong athletes wouldn’t be absent. Without them the fight for medals will be among the Brazilian Fernando Saravia Reis, the Georgian Lasha Tsalakadze and of course our Ruben Aleksanyan and Gor Minasyan. The four giants have ordered 440kg. Gor Minasyan is a prize winner of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and Ruben Aleksanyan is a multiple prize winner of European Championships. And to say the least our main opponents are not as strong as it seems. Last year in Almaty Ferdinando Reis was the 9th with a result of 420kg in the double-event, as for Lasha Tsalakadze he hasn’t any achievements among adults. The most dangerous rival is the Russian Aleksey Lovchev. The 26 year-old weightlifter is the 2014 Europe champion and the bronze medalist of the 2013 World Championship. He has initially ordered 437kg as the Egyptian Mohamed Masud. One thing is clear: if Ruben Aleksanyan can snatch 195kg then we definitely will have reasons to be happy. We also have big expectations of Gor Minasyan. The World Championship will be ended after +75 weight class women’s performances. Here the undoubted leader is the Olympic champion, World and European multiple champion and record holder Tatyana Kashirina from Russia. But Hripsime Khurshudyan will certainly compete for a lower value medal. The London Olympics prize-winner after becoming a mother returned to sport and conquered a bronze medal in Tbilisi. The problem is her personal weigh. She doesn’t manage to bulk up and sometimes weighs 20-30, even 50 kg lighter than her rivals. However, the trainings helped a lot and Khurshudyan has left for Houston in a good mood which is the most important. The Houston 2015 kicks off on November 20 and ends on November 28. I am confident that will summarize the championship results in good spirits.

Karen Giloyan, the Public TV’s sports commentator

Photo by the Public TV

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