Ritvars Suharevs has been a favorite of weightlifting fans for years. By his 20s, he managed to take a decent set of medals at international competitions:
European Youth Championships – 3 golds
European Junior Championships – 1 gold
Junior World Championships – 2 golds
European Championships – 1 bronze.
This is in total, as it is difficult to count the snatch and clean & jerk separately… Moreover, he has won the respect and love of the fans thanks to his ″fighting qualities″ on the platform, excellent technique and, of course, heavy squats during trainings. Read interview with Ritvars about his life, dreams and trainings.
How did weightlifting appear in your life? Did you do any sport before weightlifting?
I am from a small town in Latvia, Dobele. My countryman is the famous Victor Shcherbatykh. When I was 6 years old, Victor was very popular, everyone talked about him in our city. That time he was at the zenith of fame, constantly took part in international competitions and won medals.
I do not know why, but I dreamed to meet him in real life. I was impressed by his power and strength. My brother was the first in our family to do weightlifting. Once he took me to his training where I saw Victor. After that I began to do weightlifting.
Was your first trainer Eduard Andrushkevich?
No, his brother Jurijs was my first trainer. From 6 to 13 years old, he was the only one who trained me. Eduard began to train me since I was 13. I remember the day when he came up to me at the competition and said, “You are young and promising, let’s try to work together.” Since then I started training at the Olympic center.
Almost all your life you spend at training camps and travels. Do you have any hobbies besides training?
I love watching TV shows and movies, communicate with Rebeka. During training camps or training period, there is practically no opportunity to see family and friends, and I really miss them. Therefore, when we have a transition period or rest after the competition, I try to communicate with my family and friends as much as possible.
While watching your lifts either on video or live, it seems that it is always easy for you and with a power reserve. According to your personal feelings, is that so?
Sometimes I watch the video myself, and it really looks easy. Recently, at local competitions, I especially noted this for myself: on the video 160 kg snatch looked very easy, and I really felt the power reserve. Later on other video the 200 kg clean&jerk also seemed easy, but at the moment of lifting it was incredibly hard.
I don’t know how to explain it. It seems to me that only weightlifters can understand this. Sport is a strange and interesting thing!
What weak sides are you currently working on as an athlete? What do you want to change in yourself to become even better?
I believe that an athlete of any level always has something to work on if he wants to improve his results. At the moment, the trainer and I are working out and improving the jerk. My problem is a drive and too low fixation in split jerk. We try to change the position a little and work out various small details in this movement.
I have never had any special problems with leg strength in squats, but the pull always suffered, so in training period we pay attention to the development of pull strength. We work on it from various positions: blocks, hang, platform, with stops and in combinations. My coach knows a lot about this! For almost one year I have been performing in the new weight category, but this time is still not enough to build up a good muscle mass, so in training period I devote my time to strength work also in the gym.
What are your best results in snatch, jerk and squats that you have ever lifted?
Snatch – 164 kg
Clean and Jerk – 200 kg
Pull – 240 kg
Front squat – 235 kg
Back squat – 285 kg
What is your favorite exercise and why?
I like the snatch because it is fast. I like how technical athletes perform this exercise.
Snatch – this is beautiful!
What achievements and kilograms do you dream of?
For a long time, I dreamed about a 200 kg in clean and jerk, but I have already lifted this weight. This goal has been achieved! Now I dream to jerk 210 kg. I think it will be my maximum in the 81 kg weight class. I think this is a very big result. As for the achievements on the world stage, I really want to get into the TOP-6 at the Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020. To achieve this, I have to work very seriously in the coming year.
You are already an experienced and titled athlete, give beginners some advice: what is important in training? what should they pay attention to?
The main thing is to listen to your trainer and perform all his tasks! If the trainer is good, he will prepare you to the maximum result. I wish everyone such trainer as Eduard Andrushkevich.
Author: Tanya Shaiko
News Editor, Olympic Lifting Enthusiast
Best Results: Snatch – 61 kg,
C&J – 78 kg
I’m Tanya, and I just can’t do without fitness. About six years ago, I got into Olympic weightlifting and instantly fell in love with it. Weightlifting is like no other sport – it’s just you versus the bar. Driven by my unwavering passion for an active lifestyle, I’ve been eager to share my personal journey and sports enthusiasm with others. As a journalist and photographer, my interests come full circle, adding an extra dimension to the news column that I curate. This way, I keep my readers updated with the latest happenings in the sports world.