British Weight Lifting

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Snatch Starting Position

Finding the proper individual start position is a very important objective from the very beginning, since it substantially influences how successfully a given exercise can be executed. The athlete is on wedge heels in a squatting position; his/her feet should be hip width or slightly wider apart, and slightly turned out.

The bar should be near to the tibia. The vertical projection of the bar is around the middle bones of the foot (metatarsus); whereas the projection of the shoulders (front of the deltoid muscles) is 2 – 5 cm before the vertical plain of the bar, or perhaps just over the bar. Whichever, it cannot be situated behind the vertical plain of the bar. The pelvis is at the same level as the knees are; it may however be a somewhat higher or lower position in the vertical plain.

The grip should be wide enough to allow the bar touching the lower third of the pubic bone in the moment of the explosion. The head of the lifter should look forward and slightly up; the back is arched in a slightly concave position.

The angle of the hip joint is on average 38 degrees (36-40 degrees), the angle of the knee-joint is 70 degrees (67-73 degrees), the angle of the ankle-joint is 64 degrees (63-65 degrees). The angle between the arms and the bar is 56 degrees (49-63 degrees). A two degree reduction of these figures will result, on average, in a 6cm decrease in the lifting height. Finally, the arms and wrists should be in an extended position.

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A major weightlifting investment designed to produce the next generation of elite talent has had the seal of approval from an Olympian.

Pembrokeshire’s new SAW Cymru has been billed as a high performance Olympic weightlifting and strength and conditioning centre specifically created to help people to reach their sporting potential.

Sport Wales has funded the Sir Thomas Picton Leisure Centre facility its maximum development grant of £50,000.

And SAW Cymru becomes the latest in a number of weightlifting investments to establish a network of weightlifting performance centres in Wales.

And as the centre builds its reputation for top level athlete support, as well as offering newcomers to the sport a chance to make their first lifts, Olympian Natasha Perdue is one of the latest to try out the venue.

Purdue, who competed as part of a five strong GB weightlifting team in London, said: “I was very impressed. It is important that we have quality facilities and support for people when they walk into a centre like this.

“Lifters who want to develop and compete at a high level need to have good equipment and an environment that can help them become the best they can be. And people who are looking to try weightlifting for the first time and learn about the sport need to see high standards so they are encouraged to come back.

“Hopefully we’ll see more and more lifters from west Wales competing in big competitions and putting themselves in contention for events like Commonwealth Games in the future.”

Project lead at SAW Cymru and Chairperson of Pembrokeshire Weightlifting – and a former Commonwealth Games head coach - Simon Roach said: “The SAW project is already providing fantastic opportunities for all types of people living in Pembrokeshire.

“It is an excellent training centre for sports people who wish to improve their physical performance, to help them cope with the physicality of modern sport and to help local sports people reach the next level in their sporting pathway. Team sports such as rugby, hockey, football, netball, basketball, athletics, cycling and swimming will particularly benefit.

“This is an exciting time for Pembrokeshire sports people. SAW is providing an outstanding coaching service and combined with its excellent equipment is on par with some of the top training centres in the UK.”

Those already signed up to use the centre for conditioning sessions include Scarlets’ rugby squads.

Sport Wales senior officer Jonathan Roberts said: “Sport Wales has set out a Vision for Sport in Wales with two specific key aspirations of getting every child hooked on sport and creating a nation of champions.

“Underneath that are targeted strategies for elite success, investment in community sport and increasing the sporting workforce. It is believed that the new Olympic Weightlifting centre being developed in Haverfordwest will be instrumental providing a weightlifting pathway for all in Pembrokeshire and will impact on these key strategies.

“Pembrokeshire has always had a rich history in Olympic lifting, with many past champions. It is hoped that the recent investment will support the next generation of champions.”

As well as funding from Sport Wales, Pembrokeshire Weightlifting has received substantial support from Pembrokeshire. The project has been developed and made successful with the assistance from the WRU, Scarlets, Dragon LNG, Haverfordwest Pool Foundation Trust, Port of Milford Haven, Weightlifting Wales, Haverfordwest Town and Sport Pembrokeshire.

A team of young weightlifters from London and the South East competed in the Michel Lefevre Memorial competition in Dunkirk, France, recently – and secured victory on Sinclair points.

The Londoners were competing against five French weightlifting clubs, and received 1148 points using the Sinclair handicapping system, while the best6 of the French teams scored 1007.

The team was made up of Nam Ahmadi (Stars for the Future), Bui Le (Crystal Palace), Chi Chea (Woking) and Joe Brooker (Europa).

Several personal best performances were achieved by the talented English youngsters, which secured them a £25 bonus from the Weightlifters Supporters Fund.

Ahmadi (62kg bodyweight) lifted 85kg in the snatch and 117kg in the clean and jerk, while Bui Le (76.6kg bodyweight) snatched 110kg and lifted 137kg in the clean and jerk.

Chea (73.4kg bodyweight) lifted 97kg in the snatch, and 121kg in the clean and jerk, while Brooker (75.2kg bodyweight) snatched 95kg and 115kg in the clean and jerk.

The hosts provided dinner and a hotel for their English guests, and invited them back for the 2014 competition.

Featherstone Weightlifting club is celebrating one of its best years in a long time, and is looking positively to the future following a heritage going back more than 50 years.

The year has seen the club finish a very creditable fourth in the regional team championship which they have placed in the top five know for many years. The club has also begun an annual match with their neighbours Wakefield college weightlifting club. The match is for the D'Arcy Garbutt Cup to honour two excellent lifters that were pivotal in the formation of the clubs. The first event in April was won by Wakefield with Featherstone winning the trophy back on 2 November with some fabulous performances.

Nick Hall, who only last year had a career-threatening injury to his back requiring surgery, has rehabilitated and come back stronger. Nick broke two more northern records to add to the four he set in winning his middleweight category at the northern masters.

Mark Wager broke his own British record in the snatch, lifting 125kg to add to his superb second place overall and first in his class at the northern masters, where he lifted 150kg in the clean and jerk in the heavyweight category!

Mark's 260kg total and Nick's 190kg have qualified them for next year’s World Championships where Mark has finished fifth previously.

Featherstone Rovers departing strength and conditioning coach Haydn Luke has, in his first year competing, lifted over 100kg in competition at middleweight, and has a promising future along with Martyn Riley, at lightweight lifting 90kg. Both are hoping to compete in the English Senior Championships in February.

Molly Dyas, of Featherstone High School, at just 14 has got great potential and is already nearing the British schoolgirl records with lifts of 26kg snatch and 35kg clean and jerk to win the northern schoolgirls in her first training.

And the club has received funding to allow established members Martyn Riley, Nick Hall and Mark Wager to obtain their coaches badges support current coaches Alan Whitworth and Paul Foster in offering this great sport to people in our region.

* If interested Featherstone Weightlifting Club is based at the back of Featherstone Library and they train Monday, Wednesday and Friday 6-8.30pm and member subscriptions are only £3 for adults and £1.50 for children a week.

Are you learning the snatch, clean and jerk and competition or maybe just doing it for strength and fitness training? This sport can meet your requirements. Please contact Alan Witworth, the club’s founder and secretary, on 01977 794176 or for more information we can be found as an affiliated club on the BWL website or on the Featherstone club page on Facebook.

IPC Powerlifter Micky Yule set two new personal best lifts to bring to a close a great set of performances by GB athletes at the Asian Open Championships in Malaysia on Tuesday.

The Lincoln-based Scot, who is coached by Neil Crosbie, made three successful lifts and ended with an impressive 186kg in the 72kg class of the competition in Kuala Lumpur, which has attracted many of the World’s best athletes.

Yule’s performance gave him fifth overall, an impressive placing given that he has only been part of the GB programme since April.

And in the 55kg class, Paralympian Natalie Blake rounded off a great 2013 with a lift of 95kg. She twice narrowly missed out on 99kg, which would have been a PB.

Those performances come after Ali Jawad had broken the world record and secured Gold in the 59kg class on Monday.

Tom Whittaker, Paralympic Performance Manager with British Weight Lifting, said: “Micky’s performance is testament to all the work which his coach Neil Crosbie and the Scottish Institute of Sport have put in with him.

“They’ve done fantastically well, and shown great progress since he joined the World Class Programme in April. Not only did he finish with a personal best, but he executed the lift very well and showed that he has plenty more in the tank.

“And Natalie put in a solid performance, which will secure her a top ten world ranking. Added to the medal she won at the European Championships, it rounds off a great 2013 for her.”

And Ashley Metcalfe, BWL’s Chief Executive, added: “The results in Malaysia have been really encouraging and highlights that our High Performance programme is working. Ali certainly set the standards but much credit must go to all the lifters and also to Tom Whittaker and his team of coaches and support staff.”

PREPARATIONS for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year took a big step forward this month with the appointment of the weightlifting and IPC powerlifting coaching and management team.

Former Commonwealth Games weightlifter and European Championship silver medallist Maggie Lynes is England Team Manager. Mike Pearman is head coach, with Keith Morgan, Andrew Callard and Eddie Halstead also on board as coaches.

For IPC powerlifting, Tom Whittaker is Team Leader and Head Coach, assisted by Arun Singh.

“It is a privilege to be involved with the Commonwealth Games team,” said Lynes. “There’s something about the Commonwealth Games, I just can’t stay away! I’ve had some of the best experiences ever as an athlete, coach and now manager.

“I’m excited to be working with the talented athletes we have in the squad, which is a really good mix of experience and youth which shows such a lot of potential.”

And Ashley Metcalfe, Chief Executive of British Weight Lifting who are responsible for preparing the England weightlifting team, added: “With great expertise and technical knowledge, I am delighted with the appointments and feel we have the best people in charge to give our lifters every chance of challenging for medals in Glasgow.”

The England team could contain up to eight male and seven female athletes for Glasgow 2014, along with potentially six IPC powerlifters, and plans are already underway to give the hopefuls chance to show what they can do.

Eleven athletes will compete the Commonwealth Championships in Malaysia at the end of next month, and many will attend a training camp at Loughborough University in two weeks.

The athletes selected for the Commonwealth Championships are:

Jack Oliver (85kg) Leeds
Sonny Webster (94kg) Bristol
Shaun Clegg (77kg) Manchester
Ben Watson (105kg) Didcot
Brad Burrows (85kg) Bristol
Chris Freebury (69kg) Derby
Christos Michaelas (62kg) Manchester
Halil Zorba (77kg) London

Rebekah Tiler (69kg) Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire
Hannah Powell (48kg) Birmingham
Jo Calvino (53kg) London

Emily Godley is unavailable for the Championships because of work commitments, while Zoe Smith is still undergoing rehabilitation on a back injury.

LEEDS-based IPC Powerlifter Ali Jawad has smashed the world record and secured gold in the Asian Open Championships in Malaysia today (Nov 4).

Originally from London, 24-year-old Jawad - coached by Tom Whittaker at Leeds Met University – set a personal best and beat the previous world record by 10.5kg with a massive lift of more than three times his own body weight in Kuala Lumpur

“I am only 59kg so to lift 185.5kg and break a world record is something many athletes can only dream of,” said Ali afterwards. “I am thrilled by my performance and it is a great stepping stone to the World Championships next year.

“I would like to thank Tom Whittaker and British Weight Lifting for believing in me when times have been tough. Hopefully this is the first of many more golds to come!”

“I couldn’t be more pleased for Ali,” said BWL Performance Director Tommy Yule. “This result is testament to all the hard work put in by Ali and his coach Tom Whittaker.

“Between them they have worked tirelessly to get Ali in optimum condition to reach his potential. The improvement in his performances over the last 12 months have been phenomenal and I’m sure there is more to come. It’s exciting to see just how far Ali can go.”

And BWL Chief Executive Ashley Metcalfe added: “To win and break World and European records in Asia is a fantastic achievement and we are immensely proud of Ali.

“We are also delighted for his coach Tom Whittaker, who has been at Ali’s side for the last 12 months. They are a fantastic team and have worked phenomenally hard to achieve this success. It really proves with the right commitment and support, we have lifters who can compete on the World stage.”

Ali will now stay out in Malaysia for the rest of the competition, with four other British athletes, including Paralympian Natalie Blake and ex-serviceman Micky Yule who are due to compete over the coming days.

The British Weight Lifting team have returned from the World Senior Championships in Poland with a renewed drive to push on with their preparations for the Commonwealth Games and Rio Olympics.

Three GB athletes were in action in Wroclaw, where they were competing against the best lifters from the top nations across the globe.

Natasha Perdue, 38 and from Swansea, recorded five good lifts from six attempts and finished with a total of 204kg in the 69kg class, the London 2012 Olympian snatching 94kg and lifting 110kg in the clean and jerk to finish 18th following a determined performance.

Leeds-based Jack Oliver competed in the 85kg class, and totalled 313kg which was slightly more than the 23-year-old lifted in the London 2012 Olympics last year and gave him 21st overall.

He narrowly missed out on lifting 181kg in the clean and jerk, a courageous attempt which would have been a British Under-23 record and personal best.

And Emily Godley, 23 and from London, snatched 82kg and lifted 104kg in the clean and jerk for a 186kg total and 19th place.

“It was a great experience for the lifters to be at a World Championships,” said Performance Director Tommy Yule. “To perform on the big stage really helps athletes focus on how to bring the best out of themselves.

“For us, this was a big part of our plans for the Commonwealth Games next year and the Rio Olympics. It’s important for our lifters to experience the tough conditions of a World Championship and for us all to learn what can be done differently going forward to drive progress so that every year performances improve."

And British Weight Lifting Chief Executive Ashley Metcalfe added: “I am sure all three of our lifters benefited enormously from competing in a major Championship.

“It was another positive learning experience for the lifters and coaches alike and I am sure that being part of the whole atmosphere and the opportunity to mix with the World’s best will stand them in good stead as we look forward to next year’s Commonwealth Games and beyond.”

SIX British records were broken at the European Under-23 and Junior Championships in Estonia last week, as British athletes continue to make superb progress in the sport.

A five-strong team of athletes were sent to the event in Tallinn by British Weight Lifting, supported by GB Head Coach Tamas Feher and colleague Sam Hayer.

Sonny Webster, 19 and from Bristol, finished fourth in the 94kg class after breaking the British Under-20 records for the snatch (twice) and total. He lifted 145kg and 175kg for a 320kg total – personal bests as well as British records.

And Olympian Jack Oliver, (pictured) 22 and from Leeds, continued his remarkable progress with British Under-23 record clean and jerk and total, again both personal bests.

He lifted 140kg and 180kg for a 320kg total to secure eighth spot in a highly competitive 85kg class.

Also lifting was Ben Watson, the 23-year-old St Birnius athlete who is returning to full fitness after a long spell out with injury.

He also finished eighth in the 105kg, lifting 145kg and 1765kg for a 320kg total.

Team Manchester’s Christos Michaelas and Oldbury Academy’s Jaswant Shergill finished 11th and 12th respectively in the 62kg class, lifting totals of 236kg and 222kg respectively.

“It was great to see World Class Programme athletes Jack Oliver and Sonny Webster breaking records and getting PBs,” said British Weight Lifting Performance Director Tommy Yule. “For the other guys it was great experience on the international stage, and to experience pressure at that level is invaluable.”

And BWL Chief Executive Ashley Metcalfe added: “The latest performances show British Weight Lifting is in pretty good shape at the moment and augurs well for the future. There is no coincidence these improvements follow on from recent changes to our elite programme and the new ideas that Tommy Yule and our Head Coach Tamas Feher have implemented.

“Although we cannot rest on our laurels, it is encouraging that our leading lifters have already secured four medals at World or European level this year and broken several European, Commonwealth and British records.”

THREE new exciting athletes have been selected for the World Class Programme after displaying real progress to national governing body, British Weight Lifting.

Weightlifters Shaun Clegg (pictured) and Sonny Webster – and IPC powerlifter Paul Efayena – have all been accepted on to the World Class Programme (WCP) after demonstrating that they have the drive and potential to achieve success on the international stage.

The new Olympic weightlifters are:
Shaun Clegg (20, Manchester) coached by Mark Clegg
Sonny Webster (19, Bristol) coached by Andy Sutor

The new IPC powerlifter is:
Paul Efayena (age 35, London) coached by Ben Richens

The three new athletes take the total who currently benefit from UK Sport funding to eight Olympic weightlifters and three IPC powerlifters.

The programme works in partnership with the athletes and their personal coaches to identify barriers to progress, find better solutions within the training process and to create opportunities that can support progress.

Funded athletes receive specialist support services and financial assistance to help them train and prepare more effectively for upcoming competitions, culminating in the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The announcement of three new athletes comes at an exciting time for British Weight Lifting. At an elite level, funded athletes have already secured four medals at World or European level this year and broken several European, Commonwealth and British records.

British Weight Lifting Performance Director, Tommy Yule, said: “I have been very impressed with what I have seen from these athletes. Their performances indicate that they have talent but it is their commitment, effort and their desire to continually push forward that has impressed me the most – essential qualities that underpin progress and are necessary for any athlete on the World Class Programme (WCP).

“The programme is about working in partnership with the lifter and their coach to support their progress towards achieving success on the international stage; ultimately at the Olympic and Paralympic Games and World Championships.

“We are fortunate to have some great people working within our WCP, like our Head Coach, Tamas Feher. With his internationally renowned expertise and experience he is able to work alongside an athlete and their personal coach to help identify the key factors limiting gains in performance and collectively better ways are found to address them.

“In addition to support such as medical, biomechanical and nutritional services from the WCP, athletes also receive an Athlete Personal Award (APA) that contributes towards the cost of training and competition such as travel and equipment."

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