Women’s 71 kg
It’s fairly unusual for medals to be won from the B group of a category but Nikol Rubanovich (Israel) managed it here. Her 96 kg snatch held up for a bronze medal, only being beaten by Madalina Molie (Romania) with 101 and Anastasiia Romanova (Russia) with 112. Romanova never left any doubt that she would take all three gold medals, adding a 128 clean and jerk to post a 240 total, 24 kg above her nearest competitor.
The silver and bronze medals on clean and jerk and total were fiercely contested between Maria Akerlund (Sweden), Madalina Molie (Romania) and Emily Godley (Great Britain). It looked like the Swedish lifter, whose sister lifted in the B group, would take the silver on clean and jerk with 118 while the Romanian would take the total silver with 215. However, Great Britain’s Emily Godley had other ideas. Despite missing 120 on her second attempt, she moved up to 123 and made it to take both silver medals. An extremely gutsy decision – she could have stayed on 120 for just the clean and jerk silver – but it paid off.
Mens 81 kg
The 81 kg B Group lifters obviously saw what Nikol Rubanovich did earlier and decided to go one better. Not one but two snatch medals came from the B Group lifters here. Only Ritvars Suharevs (Latvia) with 162 could best the lifts of B-Groupers Andres Mata (Spain) and Erkand Qerimaj (Albania), who took silver and bronze with 160 and 159 respectively.
Things did not go so well for Qerimaj’s Albanian teammate Daniel Godelli, who bombed out on snatches, attempting a 160 opener and 161 twice. That means that he has now bombed at five of his last six competitions and, crucially, has no Robi points. That means that he cannot now qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The decision to open so heavy seems incomprehensible but is unfortunately all too common for Godelli and other Albanian lifters.
With Godelli out of the competition, things got extremely tight in the battle for the clean and jerk and total medals. Leader from the snatch Ritvars Suharevs (Latvia) was content to take three comfortable lifts at 183,187 and 192 for a 354 total and then wait to see if anyone could beat him. Unfortunately for him, two of his opponents stepped up. First Petr Asayonak (Belarus) put up 196 to go 1 kg above him in the total. Then Antonino Pizzolato (Italy), with the last lift of the group, managed 201 to go another kilo higher, taking the gold.
European U23 records changed hands several times during the group. Ritvars Suharevs (Latvia) ended up with the snatch medal while Antonino Pizzolato (Italy) held the clean and jerk and total medals when the dust settled.
The group was marked by some slightly strange coaching decisions, with several lifters taking lifts that did not move them into medal positions, even though just one kilo more on the bar would have given them a chance. The refereeing was also confusing at times, with inconsistent press out calls and a jury that mostly seemed to be 4-1 in favour of overturning decisions.
- Ritvars Suharevs (Latvia) – European U23 Snatch 162
- Antonino Pizzolato (Italy) – European U23 Clean and Jerk 201
- Antonino Pizzolato (Italy) – European U23 Total 356
Ritvars Suharevs (Latvia) made all six lifts on his way to winning snatch gold and total bronze in the Men’s 81 kg category.