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Weightlifters in action on many fronts

Our athletes had an exciting month competing in the first of its kind IWF Street Weightlifting Event in Lausanne alongside the launch of the IWF Athlete Ambassador Programme and the election of new leadership for the IWF Athlete Commission

The 1st “IWF Street Weightlifting” Competition was held in the Olympic Capital of Lausanne in Switzerland on the 23rd of April. This new exciting international mixed team format of weightlifting featured 16 of the world’s best athletes and Olympians from Europe, South America, and the Middle East. IWF Interim President Dr Michael Irani gave an insight into the purpose of this event and stated “This format can bring weightlifting into town centres and showcases the fun and competitive spirit of our sport.  We want to showcase how great our sport is in urban settings”. 

As part of its inventive and forward-thinking project, the IWF also launched its IWF Athlete Ambassador Program. Four elite athletes, namely Meso Hassona (Qatar), Yazmin Stevens (Malta), Hidilyn Diaz (Philippines), and Lesman Paredes (Colombia) have been selected to be a part of it. As role models from the weightlifting family from all over the world, the athlete ambassadors will aim to promote, educate, and strengthen equal, fair, and clean sport. The objective of this program is for the athletes to give back to the community, what the athletes have learnt through their years of competing and training at the highest level. 

Three of the IWF Athlete Ambassadors Meso, Yazmin, and Lesman competed in the Street Weightlifting competition as well. Yazmin Stevens, Tokyo 2020 Olympian participating at the event in Lausanne, said: “I am overjoyed to be a part of the 1st IWF Street Weightlifting Competition. This is a unique event showcasing the ethos of the Olympics, citius, altius, fortius, in the heart of the Olympic city. I am looking forward to being amongst the best in weightlifting, where we all come together for equality, diversity, and clean sport!”

Having created history at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games by winning Qatar’s first ever gold medal, Meso Hassona, donated his lifting bib to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Museum, as part of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage, preserves memorabilia from athletes around the world allowing fans to relive the greatest sporting moments in Olympic history. Meso said, “It is a great honour for me to donate my lifting bib and preserve this memory at the Olympic Museum. I hope it helps to inspire all the weightlifting fans all over the world when they see it and relive some iconic moments of weightlifting’s long history at the Olympic Games.”

Meanwhile, the Athlete’s Commission appointed a new Chair and Vice-Chair, Forrester Osei of Ghana and Hiromi Miyake of Japan respectively. A two-time Olympic medallist, Miyake will now join Osei on the IWF Executive Board as the IWF athlete representative.

Newly appointed Commission chair Osei said, “It gives me great pleasure to be appointed as the new chair for the Athletes Commission. It is important for athletes to have a platform where they can directly contribute to the federation and be a part of the decision-making. I will do the best in my capability to continue to represent the sport and its athletes in the best possible way.”

The Athlete’s Commission was formed in 2020 with the intention of including athletes in the governance of weightlifting.

There were many highlights from the 2022 IWF Junior World Championships, among the most memorable ones came on the last day of competition at the Men +109kg category where current Junior C&J World Record holder Alireza Yousefi had an outstanding performance taking the gold and breaking the Junior C&J World Record in the Men +109kg category.

Also notable was the Junior World Record of 20-year-old Bohdan Hoza of Ukraine, who won gold in the 109kg category by successfully lifting 195 kgs in snatch and setting a new Junior World Record. Other incredible performances and Junior World Records came from Rizki Juniansyah of Indonesia in the 73 kg category where he lifted 156 kg in snatch and Hampton Morris in the 61 kg category lifting 160 kg in the Clean & Jerk. To see more from the 2022 IWF Junior World Championships please go the IWF Youtube Channel here: International Weightlifting Federation – YouTube