As an individual we could compete in all three events for a team total, however, some decided to leave out some events in order to get the best possible result in their favoured event.
Mark Stapleton won a bronze medal for an excellent result in Jerk, Long Cycle and Snatch.
Abigail Johnson pretty much cleaned up in every event and showed the women how it was done! This is no mean feat as Russia is the birth place of Kettlebells and kettlebell Sport so we are competing against the best.
The rest of the team work the hearts out in every event to contribute towards our team total.
I left out the jerk event so I could give my all in the Long Cycle and I did!
My main rival was Anton Anasenko's student Eduard Openlender. He is Junior Champion of Russia and already master of Sports rank at age 19!!!! They are a different breed out here and it was going to be tough.
The set started well but my pace was already fast. 50 seconds in and I was already on 12 reps. I did 13 by the end of the first minute and glanced at Eduards total two platforms down. He was on thirteen too and for the next 6 minutes a battle of sheer will and stubbornness ensued. We traded rep for rep at a pace which was uncomfortable for three minutes let alone 7. When it came down to it Eduard finished 88 reps and with 10 seconds to go I managed to clean and jerk my 88th rep as well. It was as close as it could get but thankfully I drew with him.
The unfortunate thing is he was 2lbs lighter than me and as it was a co-efficient competition the lighter person wins. I ended up with a 3rd place which I am over the moon about considering the standard of competition.
I think the Russians were shocked by us as a team considering most of us have had no formal training and especially no training from multiple world champions.
The team eventually took second place, beating Team Kazakhstan who also have some incredible lifters. Well Done Team GSU - let's hope this is a sign of things to come.
Eddie Sheehan (left) Will Dollar (right)
Video will follow upon my return along with full write up of the trip.