Ilya Ilin Returns to Weightlifting a Winner (Again)

Dongguang, China – After a two-year break from competition, Olympic champion Ilya Ilin (Kazakhstan) won the 94-kg category at the Asian Games tonight and he showed that he’s ready to post some big numbers again.

Punching up this 219-kg jerk, Ilya Ilin won the gold medal and made it clear that he’s ready to put some more weight on the bar.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
Punching up this 219-kg jerk, Ilya Ilin won the gold medal and made it clear that he’s ready to put some more weight on the bar.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.

After everyone else was done snatching, Ashghar Ebrahami (Iran) opened with a machine-smooth 179-kg success.  He followed with 183 kg for another excellent lift as he made the weight look easy, but there’s more than muscle involved when it comes to lifting big weights.

Ebrahimi had shown such impressive horsepower and technique that talk of him breaking the world record wouldn’t have seemed to be a stretch, but his mind cracked on his third attempt and he only did a high pull with 186 kg.

Talking about making weights look light, Ilya Ilin lost none of his bravado during his layoff—he wastes no time starting the bar on its way, he seems to almost have contempt for what’s loaded on it, and his openers were so easy that most people who lift weights probably couldn’t make 60 kg look as light.

Being 8 kg ahead of Ilin after the snatch, Ebrahimi had the head start that would help him finish on the podium; and he made good lifts with 205 kg and 210 kg, before only doing a pull with 213 kg.  Ebrahimi is an extremely precise lifter, and in the clean and jerk it’s a pleasure to watch his modified dive start and meticulous jerks.

Ilya Ilin destroyed 215 kg on his opener, went to 219 on his second attempt to secure the gold medal—bumping Ebrahimi down to the silver medal—and then he called for 227 kg.  After a hard recovery, he missed the jerk, but no matter: The former wonder kid from Kazakhstan and MILO cover guy is back and now he’s got another Asian Games gold medal in his pocket.


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