2012 Canadian National Championships Report

Posted: June 17, 2012 in MWA
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On the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd, a contingent of five athletes, two officials, a coach and a team manager set out for La Prairie, QC. for a weekend of big lifts and Franglais conversations.  The event decided the national champions for the upcoming year, and being the last major championship of the current Olympic quadrennial, it also served as the final qualification event to determine the selection and ranking of Canadian weightlifters for the London Olympic Games.

Our lifters all put on very strong performances in this high-pressure environment. In the Men’s 77kg class Sean Mazur battled through an early start time and some competition distractions to finish with 85+114 for a 199kg total in his first ever Senior National competition, while Eric Mazur put it on the line in a tight battle for the bronze medal, finishing with a 110+142 and a 252kg total in 4th place. Eric greatly improved on his 11th place finish in the 77kg class at the 2011 Senior Nationals, and will no doubt be challenging for podium placings in the years to come. Both of the Mazur boys displayed class and maturity on a challenging day, and in speaking with them post-competition, it was made very clear that they were already thinking about big improvements at next years’ national championships.

Jordan Ducheminsky and Darryl Conrad lifted in the early afternoon session of the 85kg class, which at 17 athletes, promised to be a tightly-contested category. Jordan opened with a strong 106kg snatch, fought for and missed a second attempt behind at 110kg, then corrected himself to make it on the third attempt. Looking confident like only Darryl could manage in the back room, he finished his last warm-up snatch at 120kg and proceeded to to go 3/3 on the competition platform; after saving a second attempt at 127kg that was going slightly in front, he re-grouped and nearly power snatched his final attempt of 131kg.

Moving to the clean and jerk, Jordan opened with a flawless 140kg lift in the middle of a tightly-grouped session, then waited for eight attempts before repeating his performance with a powerful 145kg second attempt. In the space between Jordan’s second and third clean and jerks, there were ten attempts taken, one technical time-out due to the presence of blood on the bar, and several misses necessitating lifters following themselves. By the time he came out to take 150kg, he said after the competition, the unexpected wait was a little too long, and the clean proved to be a little heavy and in front.

At this point, Darryl had finished a very strong warm-up series and was up for his first attempt with 151kg. In an uncharacteristic miss, the barbell landed slightly low on his shoulders and spit Darryl out onto the rear of the platform. With a determined look in his eye, this was to be the last error Darryl would make during the competition, coming back to complete very strong lifts of 152 and 156kg, finishing for the time being what appeared to be 4th or 5th position. Then the waiting began. One Quebec lifter who was ahead of Darryl on bodyweight in the snatch at 131kg missed three successive and hard-fought attempts at 160kg to bomb out in the clean and jerk. Ok, he said, there is maybe a bronze medal. Then an Ontario lifter requiring 162kg in the clean and jerk to move ahead of Darryl missed his final attempt – bronze for sure! Finally, a second Quebec lifter made the grave mistake of opening at too high a weight, and missed one, two, and finally three attempts. Taking the silver medal with a 287kg total was Darryl Conrad!

With some of the team departing on Saturday night due to other commitments, Rosemary Densmore was the Manitoba representative in the packed hall of the Sunday sessions. Competing as a light 58kg lifter, Rosemary ended up as the only woman in her class to make all three of her snatch attempts, finishing with 63kg. Smiling and laughing in the back room, her relaxed demeanor between the snatch and clean and jerk was in stark contrast to the serious and even morose expressions of her fellow competitors, and she carried this momentum through the clean and jerks, where she went 2/3, narrowly missing a third jerk at 81 that was driven slightly forward. While reflecting on her 142kg total for sixth place in the 58kg class, Rosemary mused that with the last two seasons fraught with injury and being largely devoted to completing an education degree at the University of Manitoba, she is excited to be very healthy and training hard for personal bests in the upcoming season. Some of the athletes will finish this competitive season at Nationals, while others are making plans to head to Minnesota for the Team Spartacus Open in late June and forays west during the summer months. Stay tuned for more updates!

Results for the 2012 Canadian National Championships
More photos of the Manitoba lifters (courtesy of Tania Whalen)

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