July 27, 1967, Moscow, Russia – Olympic champion Alexey Vakhonin of the Trud Team (Shakhty, Russia) is preparing to enter the competition platform in the 56kg class at the 1967 USSR Spartakiade and USSR Championships in the Shakhter Weightlifting Hall in Moscow. His coach, Olympic champion Rudolf Plukfelder is next to him on the right. On the left, coach Alexander Chuzhin.
Rudolf Plukfelder was one of the best coaches in the world specializing in the individual preparation of world class athletes. There were numerous Olympic, World and national champions among his students. He began to coach Alexey Vakhonin when he still was an active lifter. In fact both, Plukfelder and his student Vakhonin became Olympic champions at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Alexey Vakhonin won the bantamweight and Rudolf Plukfelder – the light heavyweight class.
At the time of the 1967 USSR Spartakiade, Plukfelder was 39 and Vakhonin 32. Vakhonin won the tournament with a 345kg total. It was his 6th and the last national title he won in his career.
Another coach on the photo is Alexander Chuzhin mostly remembered for his training of Vasily Alexeev after Alexeev and Plukfelder had a painful break-up. There were no indications of conflicts or arguments between Alexeev and Alexander Chuzhin. However, in the end, Alexeev ended on training alone. He preferred to work on planning and training on his own. He developed his own training equipment and created his own methodology that he considered most suitable for himself.