Kettlebell Sport World Championship 2015

My set from the 2015 IUKL World Championship did not go as planned. Initially, I felt a little embarrassed to share this video. This is my worst competition set I have ever done. After winning nationals with 206 reps I had hoped to come through for my team. On competition day, I ended my set with 178 snatches  – one less rep than my very first competition and 33 reps below my best.

What happened? I don’t really know. After watching the video I realize I was way more tense out of the gate than normal. I switched hands early, my grip gave out fast and the end got ugly. The last three reps were no counts, the judges signaled for me to stop. Looking back, my first mistake was not dialing into the judges. During my sets, I tend to let my eyes glaze over and all I can see is the timer. Lesson learned – check in with your judges and make sure you’re on track. I had to put the bell down early – and not in a cool, “watch out, here it comes” sort of way.

Here’s how it went down: 

Sometimes we don’t want to share our disappointing sets with others for the sake of our pride. The truth is, all competitors have bad performances. If you haven’t, you’re not pushing your limits. We all need to get outside of our comfort zones without being afraid to fail. Failure is how we learn best and this is how we discover what we are capable of.

How is this for uncomfortable? 

IUKL Snatch Set
Photo Credit: Steve Burroughs

When I envisioned my set over and over again, this was not what it looked like. Luckily, I was at this World Championship event with some of the BEST lifters from the USA and my more experienced teammates helped me realize this was ok – maybe even “a blessing” as Melissa Swanson assured me. (She did 141 snatches with the 24k – I think I’ll take her word for it.) 

This was definitely the most challenging venue I have ever competed in. We flew across the North Atlantic over night and time travelled 8 hours ahead to Dublin. There were over 561 competitors from 36 countries – and guess what? Team USA took third place over-all! That calls for a Guinness!  

Guinness for Strength

The days were long as we cheered for our teammates, celebrated in their victories, made new friends and nonchalantly stood next to our idols.

Ksenia 2015 IUKL
Photo Credit: Christine Broadhead

So much talent and inspiration filled the room and I am happy I could be a part of this. Here are some of the highlights that made this an unforgettable, invaluable trip.

KB Fit Britt Snatch
Coach Brittany next to World Record holder Ksenia Dedukhina. Photo Credit: Steve Burroughs


Snatch athletes IUKL 2015
Jenna, me, Teri and Cara



Many thanks to everyone who made this event happen and my friends and family who have supported me along this journey. I can’t wait to see where this road takes me next!  Peace out Dublin, it’s been real!!!!

Cliff Jump Dublin


Post Author
Kristen Karhio
Kristen is a former heptathlete turned kettlebell sport athlete, Certified Strength Coach (CSCS), entrepreneur and co-founder of KOR Strength in San Diego.