March 13th, 2018

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Photo Report: Tokyo International (1979)









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japan1979-01





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japan1979-02





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Here goes a quick photo report on the 1979 Tokyo International weightlifting tournament that was held on December 1, 1979 in Japan. Original source is available here.


About the Tournament


It was an invitational tournament that brought together such high-caliber athletes as Sultan Rakhmanov, Viktor Okorokov (both USSR), Gerd Bonk (East Germany), Mark Cameron (USA), Mark Cardinal (Canada), Joukko Leppa (Finland), Rudolf Strejcek (Czechoslovakia) and… the legend of legends Vasily Alexeev (USSR).


The final list of the winners included:



  1. Sultan Rakhmanov (USSR) – 410kg

  2.  Viktor Okorokov (USSR) – 390kg

  3. . Marc Cardimal (Canada) – 387.5kg




 


Thoughts and Commentaries by Lift Up


The original source was in Japanese and it’s not my forte at all. What caught my attention was Vasily Alexeev wearing a blue singlet and blue weightlifting shoes which I’ve never seen before… In the background there is a recognizable figure of Sultan Rakhmanov. The electronic display says “Snatch”, WR – 200.5kg. and confirms that it is V.Alexeev. On the other hand, it doesn’t look like Alexeev is snatching and there is no display what poundage was  loaded.


Based on the plates and colors, there is about 155kg above the legendary super heavyweight head. Far below his level, least to say. I looked at the other photos and came up with the guess that Vasily Alexeev was a guest lifter that got to the platform before the competition part actually began.


Needless to say, Vasily Alexeev got injured at the 1978 World Champoinships and didn’t compete until the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. At the Olympics, Alexeev failed to snatch the opening 180kg and bombed. There were many controversies related to Alexeev’s performance in 1980. He didn’t compete for almost 2 years and it was a very long time. Especially, at 38. In the post-Olympics interviews, Alexeev said that he was in a good shape but there was a coup by his opponents and he was poisoned by them prior to the opening snatch.


With all these said, it was an interesting find that Alexeev did appear in some public lifting within these 2 years prior to the 1980 Olympics tournament.


In any case, it would be interesting to hear if we were right with figuring out the story of the tournament and, if more details about the event are known. Perhaps, Mark Cameron has some recollection of this day in Tokyo.


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Left to right:

V.Alexeev, S.Rakhmanov, Emil Brzoska (Team Czechoslovakia, Head Coach), V.Okorokov




 


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Tomas Ajan (Hungary, IWF Secretary) introduces the officials.


2nd left is legendary Yoshinobu Miyake (Japan). 3d left is Tommy Kono (USA)




 


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The scoreboard of the tournament.




 


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Sultan Rakhmanov snatches 170kg in his 1st attempt.




 


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Viktor Okorokov goes for 230kg in his 2nd clean-and-jerk attempt. Mark Cameron of Team USA is seen in the background.




 


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Rakhmanov does a 225kg clean-and-jerk as his 2nd attempt.




 


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And the winners are… Gottfried Schodl, IWF President and the medalists (left to right) V.Okorokov (2), S.Rakhmanov (1) and M.Cardinal (3).


Special thanks to Leonid Itunin of Ryazan, Russia and Leonid Pavlyuk of Angarsk, Russia for their input and help in analyzing these historically priceless archival photos.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

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Totally Insane

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This is a computer game ad that I saw on one of the Russian social networks.


I’ve reducted the name of the company and the URL – not to create any additional advertising to the “12+” products like this.


It’s totally insane and sickening to see this.


I guess the war sells but there are limits on how far one can go…


Maybe, I am too old fashioned or naive but I don’t like this at all.


Take away matches from the kids. They will burn the house!


Don’t even start me on this – stop the insanity before there will be no way back!

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Louis Martin: British Weightlifting Legend

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I used to go and train with Louis at his Club. The area was what I would describe as working class. Louis worked as an electrician with British Rail. In 1950’s / 60’s Britain drugs and inner city crime were not a big issue like they are today. Louis and I arrived in England the same year. Me to London and Louis to Derby. Open racism was very prevalent, especially aimed at the Irish and the West Indians. It was common to see signs outside lodgings “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs “. So,this was the Britain that the young Louis trained in. But no, the area was not rough.

Frank Rothwell, Team Ireland, 1972 Olympian


On the History in Color photo, legendary British middle heavyweight Louis Martin is training on his street in Derby in 1965.


One of the all-time unforgettable Olympic weightlifting legends,  Louis Martin (1936-2015) is definitely the best British athlete in the history of this sport.


Martin won 4 World championships (1959, 1962, 1963, 1965), 4 European championships (1959, 1962, 1963, 1965), 3 Commonwealth Games (1962, 1966, 1970) and set 2 world records in his career. At the Summer Olympics, he won bronze in 1960 and silver in 1964.


We’ve asked Frank Rothwell, well-known Irish weightlifter and a friend of Louis Martin, to comment on the photo and the time when the original  photo was made and his answer seem to be a perfect intro to this article.