Well, what can I say IPF Worlds was incredible Minsk certainly had plenty of ups and downs from broken live streams to some of the best lifting I have ever seen it was definitely one of the best tournaments of powerlifting ever.
But, I have a couple of takeaways to mention which we can learn from.
1.Are you here to win?
This was the most interesting element of the competition in my opinion. Anyone that read my blog post prior to the competition would have noticed that I favored Brett Gibbs to destroy the 83kg class. His nomination was incredibly high and considering the outcome last year I was certain that he would come back and destroy the class in a post-Haack era.
But, in one of the worst coaching/ attempt selection choices of all time Brett made a huge jump on his second to reclaim the world record. He went on to miss it twice and ultimately took home a silver medal as a result.
Now, this brings up an interesting question which needs to be considered. What is the goal? if he had taken a small jump he could have captured the victory and given himself a chance for the WR on the 3rd. I think a lot of it comes down to expectations. One may feel as if a certain number is attainable when they are planning their attempts. But, you have to take what is there on the day. It is beyond irrelevant what you PR is or the WR you can set them at any expo or any day where victory is not as important. Taking that jump was obscene and it destroyed his championship.
This ultimately can be drawn back to training. You have to practice how you play, you should aim to replicate the competition performance across the board1 making everything as close to competition standard as possible. Moreover, you need to make sure that you have a consistent gauge of where your strength is at and ensure that on the day you know what your capability is to prevent bombing out or losing everything after a good day! Brett has been one of my favorite lifters to watch. But, I have to say I am losing respect for him due to his constant inconsistency.
2. Are lift reversals fair?
So if Brett Gibbs performance was the zenith of arrogance, Sean Noriega’s was the Zenith of despair and Nihilism.
After grinding out squat, bench and pulling 300 for the win it is hard to look at the reversal in this matchup positively. Noriega displayed the performance of a true champion clawing his way out of a corner under Jon Gruden to come back and win the class…or so we thought. Moments later Jon Gruden ascended the podium and received the gold medal. What happened? The 2 to 1 decision in favor of Noriega was turned down letting Gruden take the victory with his 285kg final pull.
Now my issue isn’t the fact they turned down Noreiga’s pull despite the fact that by all accounts he was locked out. The issue is that they retroactively did so allowing him to enjoy the jubilation of winning the championship.
But, this is just the most high-profile example. David Ricks had his 2nd squat turned down. The issue I have with this is the potential mental impact. It can be so crushing to feel confident that you are where you need to be but then it is whiffed away from you and you are left to figure out the next step. I think judging should always be forward never backward. Decisions should be made and if the lift is given that is it. If you get one light you should be able to challenge it, but it shouldn’t go both ways. But, that is just my opinion.
3. Should a coach handle multiple lifters that directly compete?
Well back to the Gruden/Noriega controversy. This whole debacle was even more controversial for me because both lifters were being coached by the team USA Junior coach Arian. Obviously, no disrespect to the coach or the lifters. It should be something that comes down from the national committee. The nominations have been in for a while alternative arrangements should have been made. It is non-sensical that two lifters would be being coordinated by the same person removing tactical advantage in a way and putting the coach in an extremely awkward position. Something that could have been entirely avoided if they split up the coaching responsibilities.
4. Is the judging too strict
Well, there are really 2 positions to take on this.
- This is the world stage, these lifters are the best of the best and should be held to this standard. I like this approach the judging should be strict as those are the rules that have been set in place and as such we should be accountable to them.
- On the other side of things, it is a huge detraction to the sport to see judging that is overly strict and often times inconsistent passing lifts that look a little high and turning down ones that seem fine. The main issue is that you see lifters grinding out a seemingly perfect squat and then seeing 2 reds. It just does not seem like the place to be and can turn a lot of lifters away from pursuing a career in the IPF.
5. Why more lifters are going to leave the IPF (Continued in subsequent article on friday)