Tag Archives: lifters

London 2012 Olympics weightlifting: Maiya Maneza wins women"s 63kg gold

Kazakhstan's Maneza breaks Olympic record to clinch women's 63kg gold

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UPDATED:

16:45 GMT, 31 July 2012

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Maiya Maneza turned the women's 63kg into a personal pursuit for Olympic and world records after clinching gold for Kazakhstan.

All the talk going into the competition was of a duel between Maneza and Russia's Svetlana Tsarukaeva, with the two lifters going head-to-head for the previous three world championships.

Weigh to go: Kazakhstan's Maiya Maneza celebrates after winning gold in the women's 63kg weightlifting competition

Weigh to go: Kazakhstan's Maiya Maneza celebrates after winning gold in the women's 63kg weightlifting competition

Tsarukaeva led at the interval after a snatch of 112kg compared to Maneza's 110kg, but the Russian's clean and jerk predictably let her down and 125kg (total 237kg) was only enough for silver.

Maneza clinched gold with her first clean and jerk attempt at 135kg – equalling the Olympic record – before she set about trying to take her own world record of 143kg.

Lift off: Maneza broke the Olympic record en route to winning the gold medal

Lift off: Maneza broke the Olympic record en route to winning the gold medal

Two failed lifts at 144kg meant it was not to be, but a 245kg total was enough for another Olympic record.

Both Maneza and Tsarukaeva failed to total in Beijing four years ago.

Canada's Christine Girard (236kg) edged bronze ahead of Turkey's Sibel Simsek, making up for her agonising fourth place at the 2008 Olympics.

Golden girl: Maneza attempted to break the world record but after two failed attempts her total was enough to win the competition

Golden girl: Maneza attempted to break the world record but after two failed attempts her total was enough to win the competition

London 2012 Olympics: Zoe Smith sets new British record

Teenage dreams come true for weightlifter Smith as local hero sets new British record

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UPDATED:

13:32 GMT, 30 July 2012

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Zoe Smith set a new British clean and jerk record and new personal best total in her first taste of the Olympic Games in front of electric home support at ExCeL, although the talented teenager is unlikely to contest the medal places.

The Greenwich-born 18-year-old, Great Britain's weightlifting poster girl, succeeded in her first snatch attempt of 90kg but – struggling with her bar grip and appearing nervous – failed in her following two at 93kg, with her previous personal best coming in at 92kg.

Raising the bar: Zoe Smith has set a new British clean and jerk record

Raising the bar: Zoe Smith has set a new British clean and jerk record

But she calmed and redeemed herself in the clean and jerk element, equalling her personal best of 116, failing at 121, before succeeding in her final attempt at 121kg – beating Michaela Breeze's British record of 120kg set eight years ago.

It was enough to give her a total of 211kg, three kilos better than she managed at the European Championships in April although 1.5kg off the British record total.

Smith was competing among eight lifters in the B group and will not discover her final placing until those considered to be the elite A group athletes, another 11 lifters, take to the platform.

However, having come second behind Maria Alexandra Escobar Guerrero (226kg), the teenager – Commonwealth Games bronze medallist – could be in line for a top-10 finish.

Worth the weight: Zoe Smith was impressive as she competed in the 58kg

Worth the weight: Zoe Smith was impressive as she competed in the 58kg

Local hero: Zoe Smith comes from Greenwich and has plenty of home support at the ExCel

Local hero: Zoe Smith comes from Greenwich and has plenty of home support at the ExCel

London 2012 Olympics: Zoe Smith in weightlifting group B

'B' road is way to top for Zoe as young weightlifter moves centre stage

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UPDATED:

01:57 GMT, 28 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Zoe Smith will compete in a second tier of Olympic weightlifters when she takes to the platform at the ExCeL on Monday at 12.30pm.

The 19 rival athletes in the 58kg class were split into two groups, A and B, so top-end lifters are not kept waiting too long for those lower down to finish. Personal bests coming into the Games determined the rankings.

It does not affect 18-year-old Smith’s medal prospects, but it means she will compete earlier in the day than those in the higher group.

Raring to go: Zoe Smith will take part in her first Olympic Games

Raring to go: Zoe Smith will take part in her first Olympic Games

The bronze medal-winner at the 2010 Commonwealth Games flits between the 58kg and 63kg categories — had she entered the heavier class, her best of 221kg would have put her in the A group.

Weightlifting performance manager Fiona Lothian said the decision to go for the 58kg weight was made with Rio 2016 in mind.

‘I think the B group is very competitive still. If you look at it, there’s Hidilyn Diaz, who’s ranked No 6 in the world this year, and Escobar Guerrero, who is ranked fourth,’ Lothian said.

Underway: Smith begins her Olympic campaign on Monday

Underway: Smith begins her Olympic campaign on Monday

'It will give Zoe a real opportunity to lift well, with good athletes around her.

‘Zoe’s long-term future is at 58kg; that’s the best weight group for her, looking forward to Rio.’

Smith is buoyant before her first Games and is close to competition weight. Using her Twitter account, she wrote: ‘Good news is that I only have 1.5kg left to lose! This is possibly the best position I’ve been in ahead of a comp.’

GB weightlifters Oliver and Godley achieve Olympic qualifying standard

GB weightlifters Oliver and Godley achieve Olympic qualifying standard

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UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 13 April 2012

Jack Oliver and Emily Godley became the latest 2012 hopefuls to achieve an Olympic qualifying standard at the European Weightlifting Championships in Turkey.

Oliver lifted 142kg in the snatch and 162kg in the clean and jerk to register an impressive total of 304kg, well above the 291kg required for B standard and only five kilos short of A standard.

It was enough to earn the 21-year-old 17th place in the men's 77kg category, in which he was lifting alongside British competitor Halil Zorba, who could only finish 21st with a combined total of 285kg – outside the minimum targets set.

That's handy: Oliver and Godley will be at the Olympics

That's handy: Oliver and Godley will be at the Olympics

Godley, like Oliver, also reached the B standard with a lift of 185kg – snatch 82kg and clean and jerk 103kg – in the women's 63kg weight category, enough to earn her a respectable eighth-placed finish.

The pair take the number of GB athletes who have registered an Olympic qualifying standard to five since the Championships started on Monday.

Zoe Smith is the only one to achieve the A standard with her impressive performance yesterday, while Jo Calvino and Gareth Evans have each hit the B standard.

A maximum of three male and two female lifters can be selected to represent Team GB at this summer's Olympic Games in London.

But they will only be considered if they hit the specified A standard twice or B standard once within their weight category before the end of May, with athletes hitting the A standard given preference.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Peter Kirkbride lifts tomorrow along with Natasha Perdue and Sonny Webster, with Cardiff's Darius Jokarzadeh rounding up the British interest on Sunday in the final day of action in Antalya.

SIX NATIONS 2012: Why England must fly at France from kick-off

Rush hour! Why England must fly at France from kick-off

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UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 9 March 2012

The restart has become the third set-piece and it is an area England should target. Every restart is an opportunity to regain possession or win penalties.

If we were gathered under our own posts for a penalty or conversion, we’d be ready to sprint back to halfway. Sir Clive Woodward used to say that it was the chance to immediately turn the pressure around. Some teams would jog back and relax, but our wings would be in charge of making sure we got in position quickly and were ready and focused.

Teams often score a penalty then concede three points immediately from the kick-off – and it is exactly what happened to France last week. Ireland kicked off, Morgan Parra box-kicked straight into touch, Ireland got the line-out, won a penalty and claimed three points back, which is a double psychological blow.

Under pressure: Paul O'Connell attempts to charge down a Morgan Parra box kick

Under pressure: Paul O'Connell attempts to charge down a Morgan Parra box kick

The French locks don’t look particularly comfortable receiving a high ball off the kick-off. Forwards work in pods of lifters and jumpers – like in a line-out – and the lifters are usually props or back-row forwards, who have to react to the kick and lift a second row. Unusually, France have centre Aurelien Rougerie lifting in the middle. Even though he is a big, strong man, England should target him.

When England receive, I would also put Lee Dickson in the area to receive the ball and feed Ben Morgan at full tilt, in the way Leicester use Alesana Tuilagi running off the scrum-half.

There are two main types of kick. The first is to kick long for field position, with a high hang so a wing or fast flanker can chase to get to the ball-carrier. If you cut off their momentum, the opposition have to kick straight back to you or into touch. The other way is to kick shorter and high, so that you can compete to win the ball in the air.

Owen Farrell is very effective at delivering a flat kick, so the opposition can’t get a pod in formation to win the ball. It is like a cross-kick in open play. He switched one kick against Scotland, which can surprise teams. Some teams put all pods on one side of the field but France put Imanol Harinordoquy alone on the other side to deal with this.

Key man: Owen Farrell's kicking game will be vital on Sunday

Key man: Owen Farrell's kicking game will be vital on Sunday

The chasing team have the advantage of running on to the ball. You want to stay outside the receiver and come from the blind side. If they’ve got a lift, the ideal option is to jump and put your knee on the arm of the back lifter, to climb up off them and get higher. You can get away with it because you are competing for the ball. It is a technique from Aussie Rules Football.

The receivers might have to back-track and that stops you getting a decent jump and ‘owning’ the space. Some jumpers have a great perception of depth so they can allow the ball to come down over them, but coming on to the kick also makes it harder for the opposition to knock you back.

Away from the kick-off, the three key battles are between the scrum-halves, the back rows and the front rows. France have picked Julien Dupuy at scrum-half and although he’s a lovely bloke and very talented, you can wind him up. He is very Gallic! When things aren’t going his way, he will throw his arms in the air in frustration.

England can wind him up and put him off his game. But he is exceptional at quick tap-penalties. He is also one of the best in the world at changing the direction of attack and finding a hole when the team has been attacking one way. Dickson has a big defensive role. If a penalty goes against them, he has to get back 10 yards quickly then race forward to stop Dupuy. He also has to boss his blindside guards to stay alert for Dupuy’s change of direction.

Talented: France scrum half Julien Dupuy goes airborne in training

Talented: France scrum half Julien Dupuy goes airborne in training

France have an outstanding back-row. Julien Bonnaire is superb in the line-out, so it will be a good match-up against Tom Croft. Harinordoquy is another great line-out forward and an all-round player, but if you can get into him, he has been known to crack. Because he is so talented and flamboyant he is the sort of player who can get frustrated under pressure. When he can’t show off his skills, he sometimes tries to throw miracle off-loads and spills the ball.

The scrum is so important in France, where the props are the heroes. Dan Cole is very strong but he will get a severe test of his credentials. Alex Corbisiero struggled against Adam Jones and now he has to take on formidable tighthead Nicolas Mas.

It is particularly difficult taking on the scrum in Paris, because when the crowd start to smell blood, they become so loud, the French pack pick up on the atmosphere and try to finish you off. It is like being gladiators being thrown to the lions in the Colosseum!

Final preparations: England go in for a huddle at Pennyhill Park

Final preparations: England go in for a huddle at Pennyhill Park

In the week before playing against France we would do 10-second scrum practice – keeping the ball in and replicating the way they like to build pressure like Italy and Argentina. England have to win the ‘hit’ and keep it going.

I think England will soak up early pressure but France will win by nine points.

Ben Kay is a rugby analyst for ESPN’s Aviva Premiership Rugby coverage

Six Nations 2012: England v Wales will be won on line-outs: Ben Kay

Line-outs will be key factor in deciding who wins

The battle of the line-out will be the most fascinating duel of the afternoon. It is far more complicated than it looks and requires a combination of physical agility and smart analysis.

A good line-out needs precision, perfect timing and a symmetry between the hooker, lifters and jumpers. Nearly everything that goes wrong with it is down to hesitation.

THE MANAGERS

IN THE ENGLISH CORNER: GEOFF PARLING

Picking Geoff Parling is a really brave decision by Stuart Lancaster, but absolutely the right one. Leaving the experienced Tom Palmer in there would have been tempting, but the line-out has been much better when Parling has come on. I played with him for a year at Leicester and found him to be one of the best line-out managers I’ve come across.

Jump starter: Geoff Parling will do battle with Alun Wyn Jones

Jump starter: Geoff Parling will do battle with Alun Wyn Jones

IN THE WELSH CORNER: ALUN WYN JONES

The return of Alun Wyn Jones (below) will help Wales, but he’s rusty – he’s only played a game and a half since a three-month lay-off. It doesn’t help him that hooker Ken Owens is Wales’ third-choice, which means that the vital rapport between thrower and jumper may take longer to establish. He won’t yet know Wales’ ‘banker’ throw.

Key man: Alun Wyn Jones will be a vital player for Wales

Head to head

THE JUMPERS

England have a stronger set of jumpers than Wales, so Parling has more tools at his disposal. Tom Croft is the best back-row jumper in the world. Mouritz Botha has done his job really well at the front of the line and Courtney Lawes is a real athlete to bring on.

THE CALL

The line-out manager will nominate a call and a ‘check-out’ option – effectively a Plan A and a Plan B. The hooker will be ready for either, depending on how the opposition are lined up. The call will probably involve really simple numbers – for instance: ‘The call is 88, the check-out is 32’. During the Six Nations, it is important to keep developing calls to avoid being worked out. In the first week a call might be applied to a double movement (one dummy, then a jump), then the next week that could become a triple movement – adding an extra dummy – to make sure the opposition are always guessing and in the wrong place.

Getting it right: The line outs will be key

Getting it right: The line outs will be key

THE DUMMY

If you are using dummies, it has to be for a reason. The timing is vital — it must look convincing; go slow so they think they have you, then quickly move away so they can’t recover. England have been dummying in one area then throwing the ball too far away. If you dummy at the front, the hole is just behind it, but England have then thrown back to where the next ‘pod’ of forwards is standing, which means the opposition are waiting for them.

THE THROW

There are different types, flat and fast or looping ‘floaters’. Whatever the type of throw, the key is to find space, particularly in Tests where it is so congested, so the holes are not obvious. Sometimes the throw comes before the jump — the hooker throws to the area that has been called and the movement follows.

Hooker: Ken Owens

Key throw: Dylan Hartley

Getting it right: Ken Owens and Dylan Hartley will need to get their throws right

CRACKING THE CODE

These days, codes and calls have become too complex to work out, but Parling and Jones will still spend hours analysing the opposition line-out to look for clues and patterns in body language. They have detailed systems they can access on their laptops of every type of line-out and every player.

v WALES, 2005

BEWARE THE TELL-TALE CLAP!

Some jumpers clap when they are dummying without even realising it. I used to use that.
I had to tell my own team-mates who didn’t even realise they were doing it.
It used to irritate me if a back-rower waved for the ball to signal to the hooker — it would give the game away!

Before we went to Cardiff in 2005, I spent a lot of time analysing their calls and I thought I had cracked them. I was sat in the dressing-room at the Millennium Stadium before the game feeling confident, but they suddenly decided to start calling the numbers in Welsh. My wife knew how to count in Welsh, but I hadn’t asked her to teach me because I’d seen so much footage of them calling in English.

v SOUTH AFRICA, 2003

In 2003, I had learned South African numbers before we played the Springboks at the World Cup. We had a South African, Sherylle Calder, as our vision awareness coach. I asked her what a word in Afrikaans was and she said ‘three’. I asked her another and she said ‘five’. It became obvious they were just using a simple number calling system in Afrikaans, so I learned all the words and we cleaned up against them. It was probably the only time I got one over on Victor Matfield.

Spying: The Australian used to watch England practice their line-outs during the 2003 World Cup

Spying: The Australian used to watch England practice their line-outs during the 2003 World Cup

v AUSTRALIA, 2003

Before the World Cup Final in 2003 we were training at the Manly Seagulls ground, outside Sydney. There was a row of houses up on a hill overlooking the ground and we were convinced the Australians were spying on us. A couple of years later, I was chatting to Scott Johnson on the Lions tour and he admitted that he had been spying, to help them work out our line-out. He had been sat in one of those houses and the old lady who owned it kept bringing him cups of tea while he filmed our sessions!

THE OTHER KEY BATTLES

THE MIDFIELD

It will be explosive as Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi line up against Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies. The danger is that the England pair will fly out of the line to make big hits on their opponents, and could get stepped. Barritt has got a big role helping Tuilagi in defence. Wales may have the edge in this area, but Tuilagi is capable of making a couple of breaks to change the game.

THE OPENSIDE FLANKERS

Sam Warburton will present the biggest test yet for his opposite number, Chris Robshaw. The England skipper is often described as a six-and-a-half — not an out-and-out openside — and Warburton is one of the best breakdown forwards in the world, who provides quick ball for his team. But I’ve been impressed by Robshaw at Harlequins. He can compete.

Big test: Sam Warburton will be a major challenge for Chris Robshaw

Big test: Sam Warburton will be a major challenge for Chris Robshaw

THE FLY-HALVES

Rhys Priestland showed at Twickenham last summer what a quality player he is. Owen Farrell is very inexperienced and has to lead the team in attack, but I’m sure he will take that role in his stride. There will be a contrast in styles — I think Farrell will be more controlled. He might not bring his back line into play to the same level, but he makes good decisions and is a born winner.

PREDICTION

I think it will be close for an hour, then one of the centres will produce a game-changing moment. If I had to bet, I’d go for Wales to score then hold on to win by a handful of points.

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Two ways England can get the better of Jones

Ben Kay is a rugby analyst for ESPN’s Aviva Premiership Rugby coverage.