Let me start by apologizing for not getting this post up yesterday evening...it ended up being a longer than usual day and the internet was very sketchy last night when I got to my room....
You know how you get a song stuck in your head after you have heard it let's say 4 or 5 times in the same day...well I have one of those after today. And it's one of those songs that I really don't necessarily want to have floating around that grey matter I call a brain...The Russian National Athem! Man I am just tired of hearing that song, it has a pretty nice melody and the beat isn't too bad, but everytime I hear it it just reminds me that they have scored a few more points.
Today wasn't necessarily a bad day for the American Sub-Junior Team, it just wasn't what we had scripted out...of course scripts don't always tell the story. We had our 123 and 132 lb girls on the platform and our 132 and 148lb boys. Katie Durham from Texas was scripted to take this weight class...remember from one of my earlier blog sessions, she was deliberately moved up to this weight class to compete head to head with two very competitive Russian girls. Katie only managed to get one of her squats passed by the judges, managed two benches and then proceded to scare the crap out of all of the American coaches when she missed not only her opening deadlift attempt by not budging it off of the floor, but then also missed her second attempt when she fell down with the weight. At this point she has 3rd place in the squat, 3rd place in the bench and we knew if we raised her deadlift by 2.5 kilos she could get the silver medal in the deadlift. The Ukrainian girl behind her would not be able to catch her, unless of course she misses again and bombs. As a staff we increased the weight 2.5 kilos without telling Katie of course and gave some of our best motivational advice and turned her loose on the platform. What seemed to be 10 minutes later she successfully completed her last deadlift, stayed in the meet and placed 3rd overall...Boom, Russian National Anthem.
Kelsey King, another Texas girl had also been moved up a weight class and was competing in the 132lb class. We had anticipated the move would actually be very beneficial for Kelsey and might produce her an appearance on the podium. Kelsey, like Katie, would struggle all day finishing only 4 lifts out of the nine, but we did mange to get her on the podium for a bronze medal in the squat. Kelsey finished 4th overall which was very repectable for her first trip to the World Championships. She responded very well all day to our coaching advice and was wonderful to work with. Kelsey now understands the pressures and the judging at the international level. Guess what? Boom, Russian National Athem!
Sir Isaac Nunez got the US started on the boy's side today in the 132lb class. After missing his first squat he came back to finish very well with the silver medal in the squat and only 15kilos behind one of the best Russian Sub-Juniors we will compete against, Alexander Molin. We knew Sir Isaac needed to gain some ground in the bench and we all expected him to finish well in the bench...but a World Record!! Oh YA! Nunez posted a 163kilo (359.5lbs for you Americans reading this), 2.7 times his body weight, bench press! After benches Sir Isaac would move into the deadlifts with a 3 kilo lead over the Russian. We could almost hear the US national anthem playing, but we also knew Molin was a great deadlifter. Nunez still had some work to do. Nunez would go 2 for 3 in the deads and finish with a 603kilo total, but would it be enough to hold off Molin? Weeelllllll, not quite. Molin went 8 for 9 and got all 3 of his deadlifts to gain back the 15 kilo lead he had after the squats to take the gold medal...you guessed it, Boom, Russian National Athem!!!
Well we still had 2 guys in the 148lb class later that evening. Of course they got started after 8:30pm due to some changes in the scheduling for the Junior girls sessions, so we knew we were in for a very late night, but we had very high confidence in both Nick Laznovsky and Jason Rupnow and actually hope that both would make the podium before they turned the lights out in the ballroom. Nick started with a bang and took the gold in the squat, but struggled with a bronze in the benchpress which of course was won by ......a Russian lifter, Anton Polyakov. Crap, here we go again. Jason was only able to finish one squat, and then followed that up with 3 straight misses in the bench, which is his better, if not best lift. he pushed the weight, just received 1 too many red lights for technical problems with the lifts. He was devistated along with the coaches who had anticipated a good meet for him. So now it was up to Nick to finish this alone and prevent us from listening to that same tune we had been hearing all day. Nick went on to go 2 for 3 in the deads, barely missing a 250kilo(551lb) final deadlift that left him in 2nd overall...you guessed it Boom, Russian natio......wait a minute that's not the Russian national anthem......Who invited the French!!! And who would actually be glad they showed up to fight??? :) They haven't done that since....well I don't know that they have ever done that! But they did here and took a nice 12 points away from the Russians, actually Polyakov ended up 4th so belive it or not the American team needed help and the French stepped up and we ended the evening with all of the French powerlifting team singing their country's national anthem very loud and very proud...had I known the words, I would have sung along as well!