For the first time the EKA held standalone qualifying events for Team England places, at these same events we introduced brand new ranking badges and some rather smart certificates in recognition of those achieving EKA ranks. Some athletes took the opportunity to use the events for the purposes of ranking only and we’re hopeful to offer EKA members more opportunity to earn the ranking badges throughout the year.
The events were to be held on consecutive weekends in Jan/Feb, with one opportunity to qualify in a northern location and one in the south. The hosts were BigKat in Harrogate and Box Bell Fit in Wokingham. Two awesome venues sharing a great vibe and certainly conducive to getting the most out of the athletes.
The athletes were on a real mission at these events. They are after all a really big deal! Team England qualification. The right to compete for your country at an international event. Does it get much better?
In order to gain a place on the team, the lifters all had to achieve a certain rank (either repetition count or score in the case of biathlon) in their chosen lift(s). The numbers required for Girevoy Sport are decided on according to EKA ranking tables and the marathoners, we use the IKMF tables as a guide.
Many of the athletes were competing in multiple events. This meant a very tough day of lifting for many. However, for the GS athletes, going the full time was not always necessary. If the athlete hit their repetition count before the time was up, they then had the option to place the bells down.
For the marathoners, there were a couple of requirements depending on whether they were aiming for amateur or elite entry at IKMF competitions. For the amateurs, they had to complete the allotted time only with the required weight. No repetition minimum. For the elites, they had to complete the allotted time and hit CMS numbers according to the IKMF ranking tables. Providing they hit the time though, the CMS attempt could be submitted later via a video.
Both days went off without a hitch with great organisation from all involved.
Several athletes opted to attend both events in order to break up their lifts over two days. For those wishing to qualify in multiple events across GS and marathon this was a must.
Both events were well attended. We had the luxury of 3 cakes to enjoy after our lifting due to a cancelled Birthday party at Box Bell Fit, athletes and spectators were particularly appreciative!
Participating in Marathon, we had;
4 junior males
1 female junior
Participating in Girevoy Sport lifts we had;
4 male juniors (2 of which both hit adult rank numbers)
3 males (including one junior male) and 1 female took completed (and qualified) in marathon and GS lifts.
Full results available here!
This may not have been a traditional competition but the manner in which the athletes conducted themselves was exemplary. Serious lifting and super supportive of each other.
There is an additional qualification opportunity on the 22nd June at the GSU/EKA English Championship in Harrogate.
Write up: Del Wilson
Photographs: Ben Jones, Nicola Yates