Sunday, March 28, 2010

Latvian Cup 2010, 2nd stage

...We have 5 stages of Latvian Cup during a year and it was the 2nd stage of Latvian Cup 2010 on Saturday (27/March/2010). The 1st, 3rd and 5th stages are biathlon for men and snatch for women, but the 2nd and 4th stage is long cycle for both genders :) The only difference is that women perform the LC with one hand and allowed to switch hands once (as in snatch). So the past Saturday was the Long Cycle day :)

The organization of the competition was on the high level (as usual). We were surprised to find out that despite the hard economical situation in Latvia many sportsmen found a way to come to a little village to take part in the event. To be honest, I don't even remember the name of the place... I would call it "the middle of nowhere" :) It was 81 sportsman present: 3 young women under 18, 8 women, 31 young man and 39 men. But the most surprising thing was the relay race. We've got 5 junior teams and 8!!! adult teams (two teams had only 4 participants, but still competed). We never had so many before. It was fun to watch guys lifting because all the teams were very strong and kept the same tempo. I have a pleasure to announce that my team won :)

But there is another serious thing that happened after the competitions. We had General Meeting and Robert Innus announced that he is giving up the position of the Chairman of the Latvian Kettlebell Lifting Association. I already knew that he was going to do it, but it was sad to hear anyway. He's done a lot for GS in Latvia. And it was great to work with him and be in his team. It is very important for a new Chairman to be in Riga most of the time. But there is nobody in Riga who would be able to take his place. So we are on the threshold of a new era... I can only hope that the new Board Committee with the new head will retain the federation work at a high level...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's been a while...

Sorry, guys, for such a gap between posts. It's been a very busy time for me here. But it was also time to get new stories for you :)

The first thing I would love to tell about is Latvian Cup which happened in Daugavpils in Jan.30th.
It was only 50 participants (we usually have twice as much). But they managed to show good results and to break couple of Latvian records. The most exiting was to watch Santa Morozova breaking her own record and raising Latvian record for two reps (160 snatches with 16kg). Let me remind you that the girl is only 53kg and 21 y.o.
My team (Riga) did not participate, because we all are preparing for the next stage of Latvian Cup - long cycle. And it was a good idea not to participate, because the place did not have the central heating and some sportsmen got cold after the competition. It was the same situation last year. I did participate there and then spent three weeks in bed with flu. So this time I decided to leave my jacket on :) But I didn't just watch. I was working as the secretary again. But it is a usual thing for me to do :) It is always like that - there are people responsible for the organization of a competition in any given town, but in reality Riga's team comes to the place and organizes everything 2 hours before the event :) It was like that this time, too. People in Daugavpils provided the place, but then we came, set up score boards, managed the weighting and brought judges from Riga... But I like to know that we have a good team and can organize high level competitions quickly. Everyone knows his place and is doing the job without asking "what to do?", "where to go?" etc. I enjoy it!

Another thing I'd like to mention is Sport and Tourism Exhibition in Riga next weekend. We are going to perform power juggling and classical snatch and jerk exercises there. I think it is a very good way to popularize our sport. A lot of people are expected and we will have a chance to make the crowd to notice us.
We will have another exhibition like that in March. And it will be even bigger. So we are looking forward for these events. By the way, the second one will be on Sunday (March, 28th) and we will have 2nd stage of Latvian Cup on Saturday just before it (March, 27). So it will be Kettlbell Lifting weekend :) I promise to write another post about it later! :)

So, as you see, life is going on. We are having multiple GS events and are doing our best to popularize our sport. It is quite hard to do it during the economical crisis, but we are using any possibility we can get.

[My team]

Monday, December 21, 2009

Latvian Cup

Yesterday, 20/Dec/2009, we had the last stage of Latvian Cup (we have 5 stages per year).
The competition was in Riga. We had about 90 participants, 10 of them - females. We didn't have much time, so we had to be very quick. Which means that we had to work in a very fast tempo. I was a secretary as usual and I had just a little time to input information about participants into the system (we have a special computer program for protocol making, but it is a different story). We were in a rush to divide participants by flights and I've got just 2 minutes to warm up before lifting, because I was in the first flight. But it wasn't the first time for me to work like that and I was feeling well when I stepped on the platform. This time I decided to lift 12kg KB and I made 117 reps before I dropped it... I could do more, but unfortunately KB slipped out. But there was a good thing in dropping the KB before the 10 minutes time limit passed - I had couple of minutes to change clothes and go back to the secretary table to continue working :)

I am not afraid to say that our team is professional in organizing any kind of competitions! We did our best and everything went smoothly. There were some problems on our way, but nobody noticed them, which means that we did our job perfectly.

Awarding ceremony was quick, but still very emotional. And as usual in the end of the day everybody was tired, but happy :) My team (Riga) got the Latvian Cup, so we are the champions :) I got the third prize in the individual qualification this time. But it wasn't the only thing I got this day...
... Feel free to send your regards to a new National Category Referee - Svetlana Rukina :) Yes, I've got the licence yesterday :) And I am very proud of that! :)

You may see the results of the competition here.

We had a professional photographer who made a lot of pictures. And we will also have a reporton on of Latvian TV chanels. I will try to get it all and post here later.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

We are doing our best...

As you all probably know we are trying to popularize Kettlebell Lifting in Latvia and abroad. Last week we were organizing competitions for college students. We had four events in different cities - Riga, Daugavpils, Saldus and Malpils. So here is the story...

We had two competitions on Tuesday. One was in Daugavpils and another in Riga (which is about 350km apart). So some people went to Daugavpils to organize the event there and others stayed in Riga. I was among those who stayed. This day we had about 40 participants in Riga and 80 in Daugavpils. As I already said, these competitions were for college students, which means that all the participants were under 20y.o. And there were no girls. I have no idea were did they find so many boys, who were ready to lift weights, but I was happy to see that happening. We decided to have the same weight categories as we usually have for young men (53kg, 58kg, 63kg, 68kg, 73kg, 78kg, 85kg and over 85kg). The first three categories lifted 16kg KBs, but the rest worked with 24kg. I thought they wouldn't be able to lift them at all, but I was wrong. Surprisingly enough there were some very talented boys. The most surprising of all days was the guy, who lifted 16kg KBs and made 161 jerk and 194 snatches. We all were in shock (in a good way).

I remember the last day... It felt like we just came to work, did our job and left :) It wasn't so special for us, because it was 3rd competition in a row, but it was still very interesting and full of emotions. To be honest, our judges became very strict in the end of the week. They were counting any rep on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Thursday was different. Referees acted as they were jugging Masters of Sport :) They were not counting half of the reps and were asking for a perfect technique. But I think it was even better for the boys, because they could learn from the very beginning that referees are strict and you have to have a good technique to get a good result.
This day was also different from others, because it was the only day when we decided to show guys the right way of lifting before the competition. And not only just show them what is jerk and snatch, but do it in a most shocking way - send out a girl to perform the technique :) And guess who was the girl :) Nobody expected that a little secretary can go out and lift 16kg KB without even warming up, in a jeans and snow boots :)

Another thing that we did to make the events more interesting is the relay race. Guys didn't know that there is such a thing as a race in the kettlebell lifting. So we described them the rules and offered to try. We had 3-5 teams in every competition. And boys really enjoyed it. They said it was the best part of the competition :) You have to be there to understand the feeling... the place was full of emotions... And we as organizers enjoyed it, too.

We gave out our contacts and invited guys to participate in Latvian Cup. Some of them seemed very interested. And it gave us a hope to have more people in our sport.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We are on Tv :)

It was an ordinary Friday, when my coach called me and said that I have to go to Riga for a training on Monday. Of course, I asked what is so special about the training that I have to make 200km to get there. And there was the most unexpected answer - one of Latvian central TV channels were going to make a program about kettlebell lifting. And my coach wanted me to be filmed, too. Try to imagine what I felt. He could just call on Tuesday and say that they were filmed, but instead he called beforehand and asked me to be there. I can't put it in words, but I was grateful and happy and I felt so much at that moment. I understood that I would be just one of many lifters there, but still I was a part of the team and the feeling was great.

It is a military program that is showing soldiers' life. My team mostly consists of military people and we are training in the Latvian National Academy of Defense. Which made us suitable for the program.

It was a very nice experience. I came to gym at 16:30 and started to warm up. The TV team came at about 5p.m. They were filming us for about 2-2,5 hours. We finished training at 19:30. And almost all that time we were working with kettlebells. We had to make a good impression and that's why we all worked with heavy stuff. I myself took 16kg KB and made snatches and jerks... and then made some swings with 24kg KB... I have no idea how many reps I made during the training, but I am sure the word 'many' wouldn't be enough :) When I was so tired I couldn't do any more snatches and jerks, I decided to switch to 8kg KB and do some juggling :) And of course the operator was filming. At one moment I thought that I am very close to dropping the KB. But I remembered what my cousin once told me "Try not to make so serious face while lifting" and it helped me to find some strengths to smile :)
I forgot to mention that while Robert was giving the interview I was showing snatch technique to our new girl. I did it with 12kg KB and didn't count it as reps. Only after the training I realized what a great job I did that time.

In the end of the training all guys felt as tired as after a competition. We really worked OUT :) But we all felt great and were looking forward to watch ourselves on the TV.

It was almost a week of waiting. And there came Sunday :) I wasn't with my team, but I knew that we all are sitting in front of our TVs and watching the program. And I felt like we were in the same room.

Just after the program Robert (coach) called me and asked if I will be able to download it anywhere. And of course I said 'Yes'. There was no other answer :)

So I got the program on my computer, cut the part about our training, translated the interview, recorded the English version and added it over the original video. I don't like my voice being recorded, but I am posting the result anyway :)(the sound quality is not very good, but I was in a hurry to post it :) I might try to improve it later):

Or you can watch the original piece with no changes:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

One great team!

So... 10 days passed... And I am back from the Latvian cup, that was held in Jekabpils yesterday (7/Nov/2009).

We left Riga at 7:00a.m. Unfortunately, our coach Robert Innus couldn't go with us. He suddenly felt very sick and had to stay at home. We all were very upset, but decided to do our best and even better for our coach.

Couple of hours later we were in Jekabpils. Guys met us in a newly built sport hall, which was very nice and comfortable. Guys helped to set up the scoreboards and I was busy switching on the computer and preparing a secretary work space. Yes, I was both - a competitor and a secretary again :)
We started weighting at 10:00 and finished at about 11:30. There were 66 sportsmen present.

12:00 - the official opening ceremony. National anthem. Speeches. ...

This time girls were first to lift. There were 3 young girls (U-18) and 10 women. I was in the 3rd flight. The girl I was trying to win was in the second flight. It was very god for me, because I knew her result beforehand. I was warming up, but watched her all the time...

It was a funny moment while warming up. I took a yellow KB to lift it a couple of times... It suddenly felt too heavy... Level off stress went up as I thought "How am I going to lift this thing 70 times if I can barely make two reps?" At the same exact moment Eduard Trusevich came over and started to scream at me "What are you doing? Put it down!" I was shocked... Why would he stop me? The second after he told me the reason - "It is yellow, but it is 20kg!!!" :) So now I know - I can lift 20kg :) Maybe I can lift 24kg if I paint it yellow? :)

But let's get back to my story :)

Santa made 72 reps, which was very close to my personal best and I decided that I have to make at least the same to win (I am 6,5kg lighter than her). I made 45 reps with my right ... Everyone was shocked! Me too :) I switched hands after 6 minutes. I could do 30 reps with left hand at training. But something went wrong this time... Everything was fine, I was lifting the KB not thinking of numbers and felt great. But then my referee said 69... And switch off my automatic movement... I made another rep... 70... I needed just two more... I was looking for my coach... but he wasn't there... my team mates were somewhere far... my hand suddenly started to hurt as hell and didn't want to move... I had 1,5 minute... I was just 2 reps away from the champion title... I tried to make another rep... and... I dropped the ball :( I fell down to the floor and cried. I felt miserable... Since then I call myself "the greatest LOSER"...

But it was the only sad story of the day. The rest of my team was great!! Our new girl, who is 20y.o. made 123 reps with 12kg and became first in her weight category. One of our guys - Lauris Morovskis - broke his personal best, became the master of sport (national category) and became a new Latvian record holder among men (under 85kg).
Only one guy in our team went home without a medal. My team won in a relay race and we've got the first place and the cup among teams. So we are still the best even if there are such a losers like me in the team...

We've called our coach immediately to inform him that we are bringing the cup to Riga. He was very happy to hear it, still sad not to be with us. It was another great day for my team and we all drunk champagne from the cup in the bus on the way back :) Even me :) I am not drinking any alcohol ever, but this time I wanted to celebrate my team's and Lauris' victory and I wanted to forget my defeat.

You can see the results here.

Unfortunately, we didn't have a camera with us, so I don't have any video. It is very bad, because there were some great moments. Lauris was fighting for the record and it looked amazing. I wanted to see my technique, too. People say it is very good (some of them even say that it was the best among women). And the relay race was very interesting, too. I will try to find pics or videos from other teams. And I promise to post anything I find! (if there will be anything).

So, that's the story :) Sad and happy at the same time :) But it is what I like about sport. You can never know what is going to happen, but you can be sure that it will be a great experience anyway! :)

P.S.: the only thing that keeps me optimistic is that my result was second best not only in my weight category, but among all the women. And if you count the absolute result (weight lifted divided by the personal weight of an athlete) I am ... the best :) I hope it will help me to overcome the bitterness of the defeat.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

10 days before the competition

Yes, there are only ten days left until long cycle competition that I was preparing for.
I looked at my results, that I posted about a month ago. And guess what? I have increased my reps :)
I did 70 reps (40 right + 30 left) with 16kg in 8:30 minutes yesterday. And it is even more than I expected! I hope that I will be able to repeat this result at the comp.
As I already said in my last post I am now living in Ventspils and training with Vasily Ginko. It is hard for me to train without my coach and other boys from Riga. But I am very grateful to the guys here for taking me back and letting me train with them.
So... 10 days... or is it already 9? :)