I am very excited to have been able to reach out to Artem Ivanov, who kindly answered my questions even though I knew he was busy training. Mr. Ivanov lifts for Ukraine and, fortunately for us, he speaks/read/write English. Among his achievements, he has won 2 silver medals at the World Championships (2010 and 2011) where he faced very tough competition. For instance, at the 2010 Worlds, he totaled 402kg for Silver whereas Aleksandr Ivanov (Russia) totaled 403kg for Gold. In Paris (Worlds 2011), he snatched 5 more kilos than Ilya Ilyin. Ilyin proceeded to clean and jerk 5 more kilos than Ivanov and did not take his third attempt on the clean and jerk. Ilyin won on body-weight (Ilyin : 93.78kg vs Ivanov : 93.94kg). Ivanov’s best competition to date is 2012 Ukrainian nationals where he totaled 420kg (190kg snatch and 230kg clean and jerk).
Without furter ado…here is my interview with Artem Ivanov.
Here is a compilation of the battles Ivanov and Ilyin had over the years :
1 .Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. For starter, could you describe how – and why- you started training in weightlifting
I think at the beginning it was like entertaining .I didn’t want to spend my free time on the street .I wanted to look strong and handsome. It also helped me to study better in school.
2.How old were you when you started training in weightlifting?
3.How were your first years of training? Was the focus on the snatch and clean and jerk technique or on general strength?
This years was for gymnastic exercises with general strength, but three times a week I studied snatch and clean and jerk techniques.
4.How do Ukrainian coaches train junior lifters? Is the training for junior lifters different then senior lifters?
I think , there isn’t big difference . In this junior age ,athletes adapt to big weights. This age is very important for further carrier of sportsmen. Weightlifters have to learn how to compete at the world platforms and improve their technique. Sometimes senior lifters feel discomfort after junior age, but it doesn’t last long
5.According to you, your coach or the general Ukrainian coaching philosophy, what are the most important technical aspects of the snatch and clean and jerk?
I think , it is individual characteristics of each sportsman. Technical aspects don’t have definite standard. As for me , it is speed , stretching and some strength. But very important part of technique is desire , which can only improve it.
6.In America (USA), they teach to jump and actively shrug the bar up with the shoulder in the snatch and clean and jerk. According to you, is this accurate?
I would focus on lifting from platform at the primarily stage ,it is important part for farther trajectory of the bar . The legs and back are more involved . Jump and actively shrug bar up are the consequences of this effort.
7.Why do you power jerk instead of using the split jerk? Is it due to an injury?
Because ,I have comfortably build shoulders for this, it’s feature of my body
8.I saw that you are recovering from a surgery due to an injury. What type of injury did you suffer? Are you still able to train?
9.What are you goals right now? Are you preparing for the Europeans?
I am preparing to the World Championships 2014. I will miss the European one in 2014.
10.Can we expect to see you at the 2016 Olympic Games?
I think you will be able to see me at the 2016 Olympic Games .I am preparing for them too.
11 .What do you think of Ilya Ilyn moving up to the 105kg category? Is it a good choice for him?
Ilya Ilyn is leading champion in 94 kg category. He will be able to lead in the 105 kg one.I think he is very cool sportsman, and he will win Olympic Games in the 105 kg.
12. What are the living conditions of an elite weightlifter in Ukraine? Do you spend most of your time in training camps? Do you get salary?
My personal opinion is that, I don’t feel support of Ukraine . Elite weightlifter gets money from sponsors. Also sponsors paid for my surgery in Germany without any country support . I spend much time in training camps. , its difficult for sportsmen in Ukraine. They make very little money.
13.Is weightlifting very popular in Ukraine?
It is hard period for weightlifting sportsmen in Ukraine , because weightlifting lost popularity. Its bitter truth.
14.How is the ambiance in the gym when people are training?
15.Who are some of the Ukrainian lifters that we should look out for? Any hopefuls or great training partners?
Ukraine sportsmen are all great and good partners for training. Now Ukraine team has leading champion Oleg Proshak ,who will compete at the Europeans.
16.What do you do when you are not training? Any other hobby or passions? Play with your new cat you showed on facebook?
Next year, I will have to finish my dissertation . I learn new language, play table tennis and chess. I like to travel too. What about cats, I gave them to my girlfriend, she likes to play with them more than I. I only buy food for them.
17.Are there any weightlifting websites that you enjoy? Any Ukrainian sites I should know about?
18.Thank you very much for taking the time to answer. Do you have any final words?
Thank for the interesting questions, and I wish all sportsmen health, love, and victories . -Artem Ivanov