The IUKL Kettlebell World Championship 2018

October 10-15, Daugavpils, Latvia

Six English athletes ventured out to Daugavpils, south-eastern Latvia for the annual IUKL Kettlebell World Championships. Daugavpils Olympic Center played host to over 400 Kettlebell athletes from over 30 countries.



Day by Day

Day 1 – From our small but well-formed squad it was big Chris Guyll up first. The competition was stiff among the amateur male biathlon athletes and Chris finished in a very respectable 4th position with 109 jerks and 155 snatch only one point off the podium positions! Chris had already created some healthy rivalry with the Canadian team and managed to finish ahead of his Canadian roommate Todd! Up next was Joanne Tonkin snatching the 16kg kettlebell, Jo put in a very impressive performance on the platform with 156 reps and bagged herself a bronze medal, the first Team England medal in this competition!

Day 2 – The second day saw Andy Lamb take to the platform in the amateur male long cycle event, it was Andy’s Team England debut and delivered 37 quality reps on the world stage! Next up was Jo Tonkin for two-armed long cycle, once again it was another solid performance from Jo, 66 repetitions and a silver medal. The last Team England member to lift on Day 2 was Tracey Howson, participating in the two-armed long cycle 20kg trial event, it was Tracey’s first IUKL comp and she was able to perform a respectable 55 repetitions.

Day 3 – The 3rd day saw 3 of our lifters take to the platform, first up and his second biathlon attempt (this time in the veteran category) was Chris Guyll. Chris managed to surpass his Day 1 performance with 122 jerk and 160 snatch which earned him a Bronze for the England team. Next up was Gina O’Keeffe on 12kg snatch, under strict judging conditions Gina performed 214 repetitions and a got the gold medal! Final Team England lifter of the day was Ste Gordon on the professional long cycle, Ste did 33 reps on the 32kg kettlebells concluding a very productive day for the England squad.

Day 4 – The final day of lifting and the only Team England lifter up was Gina O’Keeffe, Gina lifted in the veteran two-armed long cycle 12kg smashing out 78 repetitions and grabbing that silver medal. Gina went on to perform the one-armed long cycle on a 16kg kettlebell with 83 repetitions, concluding the competition for Team England.


  • Russian lifter Ivan Markov smashed the 95+kg pro biathlon world record with 176 jerk and 225 snatch! Awesome lifting to watch.
  • Markov’s Russian teammate, 19 year old Irina Martynova took the gold medal in 68+kg ladies professional two armed long cycle with 73 repetitions after setting a new world record in professional ladies snatch the day before with 214 reps!
  • A special congrats to friends of the England Team, Caroline Dougal (Scotland) and Liga Latkovska (Latvia) who both put in great performances on their lifts and had the England Team behind them for every rep!
  • Ste Gordon clinched a new record for most kettlebells chalked over the first two days of the competition, paving the way for a substantial Norwegian medal haul from his chalked bells!
  • The England and Canadian teams got to witness a new sausage eating record before a single bell was lifted! The record holder wishes to remain anonymous but provided the following comment “it may not have gone my way on the platform this time but I can beat the Canadians at eating sausage!”

Finally huge thanks and congratulations to all competitors, judges and officials from all nations, it was a great competition and we can’t wait for the next one!

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By tracey / Editor, bbp_participant on Oct 26, 2018

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