The 8-day championships were held in Rovaniemi, Finland above the Arctic Circle so the Sun would never set at night! There were 489 lifters who had entered ranging from ages 35 to 88! My friend big Jim Ferguson lifted in the M80 109 kg class and won on the 1st day Wednesday 12th June – an auspicious start.
I flew in on Monday 10th June as I was to be a Technical Official at the championships. We stayed at the Hotel that was also the venue called Santasport Hotel. I was able to referee 7 sessions and serve on the Jury twice and on one occasion I was President of the Jury.
The training room had enough weights (all Eleiko) for 20 weightlifters! The Venue had 6 warm up platforms and the main platform with seating for at least 150 audience. The whole event ran like clockwork thanks to the Finnish Weightlifting members and the 20+ technical officials as well as the organising committee of Bill Barton, Denise Offerman, Jan Hinrichsen, Josef Lazou and Chris Baker. They worked tirelessly for more than 9 days doing 12-hour shifts!
After flying in on Monday I did a training session in the evening getting up to 60 kg snatch, but the next day after trying to find a path to the local supermarket, I twisted my left ankle (it did not stop me buying 4 litres of beer though). By going to the sauna and trying a very cold plunge pool and then heated pools (36 ◦C), I was much better by the 3rd day and actually lifted on Friday 14th June at 11.15 am. You can see the Videos on YouTube of all the sessions and mine was session 12.
One of the very best lifters was Andy Seaber. He is one year older than me and snatched 85 kg for a new European Masters Weightlifting record at 67 kg bodyweight. Indeed, he came 1st for the whole of his age groups as he got the highest SMF points score of 394 points. What an amazing lifter and his Sinclair score beats all British Senior male lifters this year.
Watch David's Group here:
Or at 2:06hrs at the video below
Elaine Simms (CrossFit Goudhurst) did extremely well in the W45 71 kg class winning her class with a massive 62 kg snatch and 76 kg clean and jerk just missing 81 kg and scoring 204 SMF points. One of the best GBR women was Lou Herron who will be 40 this year and in the 64 kg class lifted an amazing 67 kg snatch and 92 kg clean and jerk for European Masters records and 238.63 SMF points. She got the 5th highest score SMF points out of the 149 women lifters.
GBR teams did well with the Women’s team coming 2nd and Men’s team coming 5th.
Next year will see the European Masters Weightlifting competition being held in the Netherlands: NorthWest Weightlifting at Schootenweg 2c 1785 LV Den Helder, Netherlands (about 325 miles or 7 hours in the car from Canterbury.)
- David Mannion