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2020 London Varsity Series: WEIGHTLIFTING

The inaugural Weightlifting Varsity series at Lee Valley Athletics Centre this afternoon didn’t disappoint, with an impressive standard of lifting on display from both UCL and KCL teams.

For the men’s event, King’s had 5 of the 9 total competitors, with star performer Žarko Ćurćić finishing in 3rd. It was nevertheless an impressive performance from Žarko, who just missed out on his final attempt of 115kg in the clean and jerk but completed 105kg and then 110kg beforehand, and before this completed 90kg in the snatch and just failed his attempt of 100kg, attaining a highly respectable points total of 200. As for the other boys in red, Louie Shepherd finished in 5th with a total of 172 points, with Adam Jinnah, Arthur Gillhem, and Prince Haastrup finishing 7th, 8th, and 9th respectively. This was an especially impressive showing from Arthur, producing a lift of 68kg in the snatch, despite that he’d only been lifting for 6 months in the lead up to the event. However, the top places for the men predominantly consisted of UCL competitors, with Max Barkman running out as winner with an immense points total of 231, reaching a very strong 125kg in the clean and jerk. He had no failed attempts up until this point, completing all his snatch attempts, showing his consistency and composure which took him to the gold. UCL similarly took the silver with Oliver Fern-Hern reaching a points total points of 220, just ousting out our Žarko. The rankings were practically the same for both the snatch and clean and jerk events, showing that consistency reign supreme in competitive weightlifting.

As for the women, it was always going to be a tall order for the KCL team, with UCL competitor Deborah Alawode being the British U23s Women’s Champion for her weight category in 2018. She comprehensively demonstrated this in the snatch, with her successful lift of 80kg being 22kg more than her nearest competitor, and narrowly missed a national record attempt of 106kg in the clean and jerk. Despite this, the KCL team certainly did themselves justice in the snatch event, as Chloe Lotigier and Mellony Kadakal completed all their nominated lift attempts of 39, 42 and 45kg and 25, 27 and 30kg respectively, with Aline Lechartier completing a 40kg snatch, but just missing her attempt of 45kg. They followed this up in the clean and jerk, with both Mellony and Aline completing their final attempts of 36 and 48kg respectively with Chloe just missing out on her final attempt of 60kg, completing the ‘clean’ but just missing the ‘jerk’.

Chloe Lotigier successfully completes her final snatch attempt of 45kg to put at the top of the KCL snatch rankings

Despite the gulf between the two universities, a great spirit of camaraderie existed during the event, with every competitor and every audience member rallying on the lifters with cries of ‘Hold it!’ during the snatch and ‘Come on, push!’ in the clean and jerk.

It was always going to be a difficult task for the KCL team today, but they have set a high bar for KCL Weightlifting teams in future Varsity series. Well done to the reds.

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