Team England Compete at the 2014 IUKL World Championships
On 21st November 2014 a small group of English Kettlebell sport athletes flew out to Hamburg to join over 500 athletes from 34 countries taking part in the largest ever IUKL World Championships. The team included professional level lifters Ste Gordon, Mark Stroud, Will Dollar, Dan Jones and Anna Plumridge; adult amateur lifters Laurence Clemente, Chris Peil, Simon Trenholm, Becky Fraiser and Gemma Bullock and Veteran competitors Andrew Bellamy and Chris Skeats. Everyone gave performances to be proud off and England gained 8th place overall.
Chris Peil won silver in the 95kg amateur longcycle; Laurence Clemente won bronze in the 73kg amateur longcycle and Chris Skeats won silver in 50-55yrs snatch.
Will Dollar became the first man in England to achieve equivalent IUKL Master of Sport status, completing 61 reps in under 95kg Longcycle.
Team England visit the Irish National Championships
On Saturday 28th February Team England paid a visit to the Irish National Championships in Meath. All the Irish athletes made us feel very welcome and we had a great day. Here are a few photographs from the day.
IUKL World Championships Dublin 2015
At the end of November a small team of English Kettlebell athletes flew across the Irish Sea to compete at the IUKL World Championships in Dublin. This was the largest kettlebell sport competition ever, 32 countries and almost 600 athletes, over four days. The event provided a fantastic showcase for the sport as athletes from all over the world delivered inspiring performances, including some close fought battles at the highest levels.
Team England were the first team to enter the opening ceremony, striding in, flags flying. As you can see we also met the mayor of Dublin, proud to stand with a group of strong women.
Throughout the competition, our team gave their all, delivering sets to be proud of. Special mention goes to Becky Fraser who competed at professional level with an injured arm and Gary Rothwell who was competing in his second competition ever! Despite dropping the kettlebell half way through her 16kg set, Chris skeats did not come last in her category and went on to put in a strong performance in her veteran group.
Nineteen athletes represented England:
• Six athletes competed at professional level : Dan Jones (5th), Anna Plumridge (4th), Laurence Clemente (4th), Becky Fraser (15th), Tom Mayes (6th)and Ste Gordon (7th)
• Nine athletes competed at amateur level: Simon Trenholm (6th) Gary Rothwell (7thth), Luke Jones (5th), Nick Johnson (4th), Chris Skeats (17th), Becky Penfold (15th), Tanya Mayes (8th), Angela Siddall (32nd) and Joy Talbot (7th).
• Six athletes competed as veterans: Joy Talbot (4th), Chris Skeats (2nd), Maxine Morris (2nd), Tracey Langham (5th), Jenny Whitcombe (5th) and Del Wilson (1st)
Sadly, Andrew Bellamy and Will Dollar were injured and could not compete but Andrew joined the team in Dublin, took some great photographs and provided advice and treatment for the team’s many aches and pains. Thank you Andrew; much appreciated. The whole team would also like to thank Wolverson for their sponsorship.
The main English team gained 7th place overall (one higher than last year) and our veterans made 13th place in the veterans’ competition.
Congratulations go to Del Wilson, our first World Champion, first place in 45-49yrs 85kg longcycle. Maxine Morris and Chris Skeats won silver medals in their veteran snatch categories, despite competing without timers or counters! Laurence Clemente, Ste Gordon, Tom Mayes and Anna Plumridge all gained Candidate Master of Sport and Luke Jones made rank one biathlon, well done all.
First English Female Long Cycle athlete
After a long fight to persuade the IUKL to permit female athletes to compete at one arm long cycle, women have begun to compete at international level. On May 28th Claire Knight became the first English woman to compete in one arm long cycle at an international competition. She competed in the famous White Nights Competition in St Petersburg and won a silver medal with 124 reps. Nice work Claire!
IUKL international competitions are the largest international kettlebell sport competitions in the world. In the past women were only permitted to compete at one event – snatch. This discouraged many very able women lifters from competing at international level. Over the past two years the IUKL have been experimenting with female one arm long cycle events at their World Cup and Grand Prix competitions. In July a small team of English women will be flying out to compete in Latvia, hoping to persuade the IUKL to include this event in the prestigious European and World Championships.
European Championships 2016
Six OKSE members proudly represented England at the European Kettlebell Lifting Championships in Gdynia, Poland May 11th-15th. They were Anna Plumridge, Jenny Whitcombe, Chris Guyll, Kieran Kent, Del Wilson and Ste Gordon. We also had 2 faithful travelling spouses – much appreciated.
The championships began with the usual registrations and weigh-ins. Despite Anna and Jenny being two of the first athletes to arrive, they still managed to weigh-in last with only 10 mins to spare. Moral of the story -always try and get ahead of the Russians and the Irish! Good news on the eve of the competition was that our team hotel did the best steak at a fraction of the price to home (steak dinner 1, consumed)
Day 1 of the competition saw Jenny carrying the flag (thanks Anna) at the opening ceremony (complete with cheerleading girls) and competing in the under 63kg, amateur snatch (16kg). No personal best but 146 reps secured our first silver medal. Gold went to a 19 year old Lithuanian, by 3 reps. (Steak dinner 2 was consumed)
On the second day Anna competed in the under 68kg professional snatch (24kg). It was a hot day and difficult lifting conditions meant PBs were few and far between. Anna finished fourth with 90 magnificent reps behind the Ukrainian in 3rd, Abi Johnston and Natalyia in first place. (Steak dinner number 3, still hitting the spot).
Day 3 brought in the long cycle. Kieran lifted in the under 78kg amateur event (24kg) at his first England competition. The night before the Championship, Kieran sent the dreaded message to the team – I’m injured and can’t lift my arm. After much taping, manipulation and therapy he stepped up and, fantastically, completed the full 10 mins with 58 reps. Enough for a bronze medal. The winning score (71) is equal to his PB and next time and injury-free…….who knows? On the neighbouring platform we had Del in the under 85kg amateur event (24kg). Del had also been carrying a thigh injury and still achieved a mighty 83 reps (equal PB). Del was followed by his main rival, who had a clear target to chase and achieved 84 reps, just on the 10 minute mark, before collapsing in dramatic fashion. So it was silver for Del. But we all know that things would have been different if the flight order was reversed and Del was chasing! Next up was Ste Gordon in the under 85kg professional event (32kg). It was just one of those days. We’ve all had them. Let’s look forward to happier times as we really value Ste’s leadership, commitment and encouragement in OKSE, and the broader kettlebell lifting community.
After the lifting we decided on a walk to the beach. Forty minutes later we arrived at the shopping centre you see could from the venue! The jury’s out on how this happened, but it involved at least 3 mobile phones. Let’s just say our lifting’s better than our navigating. Eventually we had team beer, pizza, ice cream and paddling. Kieran perhaps buoyed on by his medal, swam in the Baltic. Back to the hotel for steak dinner, take 4.
On the final day it was the turn of the veterans. Firstly, Chris has his jerk set in the biathlon for over 95kg, age 40-44 (24kg). His first outing for England, cheered on loudly by coach, Ste, was a massive PB of 93 reps. Next up was Jenny in the under 68kg, age 50-54 snatch (12kg). It was a pretty close contest between Jenny and her Hungarian rival but Jenny won gold with a competition PB of 210 reps against 204 reps.
Next up was Chris for his snatch set. Again a brilliant PB of 125 .Unfortunately a Ukrainian uber-snatcher materialised and with over 200 reps, came from nowhere and pushed Chris into 4th place.
We’d had a pretty great, very well organised Championship. It was great that the live feed worked, and the support, and interest from home was awesome. Good on ya Gdynia.
Our final adventure was a team sight-seeing trip to Gdansk. A beautiful old town which none of us would have visited if it hadn’t been for this sport, that we love. No steak dinner, though.
Long cycle ladies love Latvia
On the 31st of March 2016, the IUKL finally announced a trial of women’s long cycle lifting at an international competition. Traditionally in IUKL competitions and in Russia, women had only been able to snatch, despite strong women’s long cycle lifting in various national level competitions in the UK, Europe, and the US.
Knowing that the trial was an important event for women, a small team of women flew out to compete in Latvia on 16th July 2016. Anna Plumridge, Tracey Langham, Helen Clewer and Claire Knight formed our first ever women’s long cycle team. Claire and Tracey competed in the 16kg one arm long cycle competition. Helen competed in the 20kg one arm long cycle competition and Anna competed in double 16kg long cycle. No age or weight categories applied.
All members of the group gave strong performances. Anna, Claire and Helen won gold medals in their classes and Tracey came fourth; we are very proud to field such a strong team. The event was considered a success by the IUKL, who is now inviting women to compete in Long Cycle events at the IUKL World Championships in Kazakhstan.
IUKL and IGSF World Championships 2016
The end of October was very busy this year, two world championships took place at the same time, on two different continents. Both were spectacular celebrations of kettlebell sport and OKSE fielded athletes at both events.
The IGSF World Championships took place in Turin, Italy. Three athletes represented England in the world championships in Turin. Laurence Clemente, 32kg Longcycle, Gary Rothwell 24 kg Longcycle and Chris Skeats 16kg snatch.
Gary won Gold in both the adult 24kg longcycle and the veteran 40-44 longcycle.
Laurence achieved OKSE Master of sport and bronze in professional male long cycle.
Chris came 8th in Women’s elite snatch and 4th in veteran snatch
Tracey Langham represented England in the IGSF Grand Prix competition which followed the World Championships. She won gold in double 12kg longycle.