Russia's Tatiana Kashirina and Ilyin Ilya of Kazakhstan claimed the women's and men's Lifter of the Year awards ©IWF

Russia’s Tatiana Kashirina and Ilyin Ilya of Kazakhstan claimed the top prizes at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) as they were named women’s and men’s Lifter of the Year for 2014 respectively at a ceremony in Astana.

Kashirina enjoyed an incredible year, particularly at the World Weightlifting Championships in Almaty in November where she stunned the world with victory in the over 75 kilogram event, achieving an historic clean and jerk world record of 193kg.

She also holds the snatch world record of 155kg and the total world record of 348kg and the three-time world champion is setting her sights on another fruitful year.

“I will participate in the 2015 IWF World Championships Houston and definitely try not to miss this important meet because it give me more confidence in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” the 24-year-old said.

Kashirina beat off competition from Olympic under 53kg champion Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan, who was second, while Deng Wei of China was third.

Double Olympic champion Ilyin Ilya claimed the men's prize after he enjoyed a superb 2014
Double Olympic champion Ilyin Ilya claimed the men's prize after he enjoyed a superb 2014 ©Getty Images

Double Olympic champion Ilya meanwhile was also in record-breaking form in 2014 as he lifted a huge 242kg in the 105kg category clean and jerk in Almaty.

He took the Lifter of the Year prize ahead of China’s Liao Hui, who set two world records himself at last year’s World Championships, and Russian Ruslan Albegov was third.

“There is one and a half years left before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and there are challengers and contestants who can go up with their results by then,” the 26-year-old Kazakh said.

“David Bedzanyan and Ruslan Nurudinov are definitely to be followed closely.

“I must be very serious with my training before Rio - I know that my results from Almaty won’t be enough.”

The Lifter of the Year awards were voted on by the public and the prizes themselves were handed to the athletes by World Weightlifting Magazine editor-in-chief Kornel Jancso and senior editor Aniko Nemeth-Mora.

During the glittering ceremony at the National Museum of Kazakhstan, a short video from the Championships in Almaty was also shown, depicting the highlights from a superb event.

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