Ilya Ilyin Wins 2018 Kazakhstan National Weightlifting Championships

For the first time since 2015, Ilya Ilyin has competed on a platform of any significance. Competing at the 2018 Kazakhstan National Championships, Ilyin snatched 172KG and lifted 208KG in the clean and jerk for a 380KG total, which won him a gold medal in the 102KG category. Early accounts of the competition on social media say that Ilyin is planning to compete in the 96KG weight class going forward. After the competition, Ilyin took to Instagram to thank all his fans and supporters in Russian, however text in the post was in English and Kazakh along with Russian.

Ilyin, one of the most popular and controversial stars of weightlifting over the last decade, took the platform for the first time since the IWF President’s Cup in December of 2015 in Grozny, Russia. At that competition he lifted 246KG in the clean and jerk and totaled 437KG in the 105KG category to set two new world records.

At the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, Ilyin competed in and initially won the 94KG category. He looked on pace to win his third consecutive Olympic Championship going into the 2016 Olympic Games, however reanalysis of his drug tests from Beijing and London came up positive for two banned performance enhancers. Earlier this year it was made public that his suspension from the sport would end on June 10th, based on backdating to the original date of the failed reanalysis.

Ilyin’s 172kg snatch is below; for viewers having trouble seeing it on mobile, it can also be found here.

The International Weightlifting Federation also said that same month that, in regard to Ilyin’s two doping violations at Olympic Games, they had “had no other choice but to consider the two violations as one according to the applicable rules.” They went on to mention their advocacy of changing those rules in the future, potentially to institute harsher doping penalties for multiple violations.

Ilyin’s 208kg clean & jerk is below; for viewers having trouble seeing it on mobile, it can also be found here. Ilyin now seems to be practicing the squat jerk style, whereas he previously used the split jerk in competition.

Ilyin’s best official international results to date have been a 437KG total at the 2015 President’s Cup in the 105KG category, and 407KG total at the 2011 World Championships in the 94KG category.

The 30 year-old’s potential return to the international stage at the 2018 World Championships in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan could set up a highly anticipated competition with defending Olympic Champion Sohrab Moradi of Iran. Last week, Moradi snatched 189KG at the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, to surpass one of the longest standing records in the sport. He owns the world record in snatch, clean & jerk (233KG), and total (417KG) in the 94KG category.

Featured image: @shin_yong_jin_ on Instagram