News and Media


IOC Approves Revised Weightlifting Olympic Qualification System For Tokyo 2020

Lausanne, 29 May 2020; The IOC has approved the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF’s) revised Olympic Qualifying System for Tokyo 2020, which now extends the qualifying period to 30 April 2021.

All results and rankings achieved by weightlifters during the qualifying events held prior to the cessation of qualifying will be retained with no changes to their value. Following the suspension of qualifying events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent postponement of Tokyo 2020, the revised qualifying system will allow for a further qualification period, which will run from 1 October 2020 to 30 April 2021. Replacements for the cancelled events originally scheduled will be held during this period.

The revised qualification system has been developed around key principles of clean competition and fairness. The criteria whereby weightlifters must participate in at least six competitions throughout the overall period starting 1 November 2018 has been maintained.

Weightlifters had also been required to compete in at least one of the specified competitions during each of the first, second and third original qualifying periods. Some weightlifters had already competed in six events, including one in each of the qualifying periods. The third period, however, was brought to a premature end by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, not all weightlifters had the opportunity to fulfil this eligibility requirement.


All weightlifters wishing to qualify for Tokyo 2020 will now be required to compete in at least one of the specified competitions between 1 October 2020 and 30 April 2021. This will also ensure they are subjected to any in-competition doping controls applied by the International Testing Agency (ITA).

“The IWF is deeply conscious of the efforts made by weightlifters and those who support them to pursue their Olympic dreams at Tokyo 2020,” said IWF Acting President Ursula Papandrea. “Preserving their progress was a vital step for us, as was ensuring a similar range of opportunities to those being provided before the pandemic halted the Olympic Qualification System for weightlifting.”

A total of 56 men and 56 women will qualify on the basis of world ranking points collated by the IWF. A further 35 men and 35 women will qualify on the basis of continental ranking points collated by the IWF. Three men and three women will be granted host country qualifying status. And four men and four women will receive tripartite commission invitations. These elements remain unchanged from the Olympic Qualifying System that was originally approved.

“The IWF Executive Board had fairness and clean sport in mind when it approved the initial system and those core principles remain,” continued Papandrea. “The idea that only those countries with a proven track record of clean weightlifting compete at the Olympic Games – which has been repeatedly welcomed by the IOC – remains in place. The IWF would like to extend its best wishes to athletes and all those affected by the pandemic. We are confident the certainty that this clear process brings will be helpful to them. We are also grateful to our member federations for their exceptional efforts to support athletes during the pandemic, and to the IOC for its approval.”

A full copy of the Olympic Qualification System for Weightlifting can be found here.

A document outlining the revisions to the System can be found here.

Athlete qualifying points earned to date can be found here.

Key dates for steps to be taken by the IWF, its member federations and NOCs can be found here.

The IWF Competition calendar can be found here.

Key dates for National Olympic Committees with regard to applications for tripartite commission places, confirmation of acceptance of qualified athletes and more can be found on the IOC’s NOCnet intranet.