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Wed Apr 23 08:38:54 SAST 2014

Horse meat secret to Kazakh champion's success

Sapa-AFP | 05 August, 2012 11:010 Comments
Olympics Day 8 - Weightlifting
Ilya Ilyin of Kazakhstan celebrates after setting a new world record and winning gold medal in the men's 94kg weightlifting final on day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 4, 2012 in London, England
Image by: Mike Hewitt / Getty Images

Kazakhstan Olympic champion Ilya Ilyin says eating horse meat is the key to success in weightlifting.

The 24-year-old set two new world records on his way to a second successive Olympic title on Friday and then advocated a diet of chicken — and horse.

“I do believe food plays an important role in preparation for the Olympics or any competition,” said Ilyin.

“Of course you have to be careful and know what you’re eating. I try not to eat anything that is too fat or sweet. My favourite food is chicken and horse meat. I would consider them ideal food because they are very easy to digest.

“You don’t waste any personal energy and you don’t have to digest difficult things like lamb or pork.

“Chicken and horse meat are the best foods for weightlifters and good food is important.” 

Ilyin has never been beaten in international competition.

As well as his two Games gold medals he was won three world titles and the Asian Games in 2010.

He first won a world title at just 17 in 2005, the first of two years in which he won a junior and senior world title double.

Here he set a new overall world record of 418kg and added a new clean and jerk marker of 233kg.

He beat Alexander Ivanov into silver but the 2010 world champion from Russia advocates a very different diet.

“My main goal is to gain weight. I’m also careful with my food and I’ve had a lot of good food in McDonalds,” he said. “If you have less weight you have less strength.”

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