February 23rd, 2019

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Yury Chimrov (1956-2019)

Sad news just came from Ukraine…

Yury Chimrov died on February 19, 2009. He was 63.

RIP, Champion from the Dynamo Donetsk!

Yury Chimrov was one of the young and promising Soviet heavyweights of the late 1970’s and early 1980s.

He competed for the Dynamo club of Donetsk, Ukraine in the 110kg weight class and was one the candidates to the national team.

However the competition between the Soviet heavyweights in this class was tough. Sometimes it was more difficult to win internal competitions than the World championships in this class and Chimrov was one of many who didn’t get a chance to compete for the country at the top international level.

At the 1983 USSR Championship in Novosibirsk, Chimrov won a bronze medal with 405kg total (180+222.5).

Chimrov’s personal best result in the competionss was 415kg (185+230). He reached it at the USSR Spartakiad in Moscow in 1983.

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Arnold Luhaaar: Cutting-Edge Technicians From Estonia

On the History in Color photo, Arnold Luhaaar, outstanding Estonian heavyweight of the past, performs a clean-and-jerk lift. The interesting angle of this photo is that it takes place in the 1930s and Arnold Luhaaar performs a squat style clean. At the time when the vast majority of lifters were split stylists, Estonian athletes began to use squat style decades ahead of the time when it became dominating in the world.

Another legendary Estonian, Olympic champion Alfred Neuland (1895-1966), Alfred Neuland was a pioneer of the squat style technique. He used for both the snatch and clean and, in fact, had to switch to the split style at the Olympic tournaments in the 1920s because the officials disallowed the new technique! Alfred Neuland was also one of the first athletes who introduced the hook grip of the bar.

As for Arnold Luhaaar (1905-1965) shown on the cover photo, hewas one of the strongest Olympic weightlifters of the 1920s and 1930s. He competed at the two Olympics before the beginning of World War II. In 1928, he won a silver Olympic medal in the heavyweight in Amsterdam. Estonia didn’t sent its team to the Games in 1932 due to the Great Depression and Arnold missed the Olympics in Los Angeles.

At the Summer Olympics in Berlin in 1936 (on the photo), Arnold Luhaaar won the bronze medal. He did win the clean-and-jerk with the Olympic record (165kg) which was 2kg less than the world record of the time set by legendary Egyptian strongman Sayed Nosseir.

In 1938, Luhaaar won the bronze medal at the World championship. He was a world record holder in clean-and-jerk, 8-x champion of Estonia in Olympic weightlifting (1926, 1928, 1932-34, 1936-38) and champion of Estonia in… Greco-Roman wrestling (1931).