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Youth global showcase is officially open in Albania!

The IWF highest authorities and many local governmental and municipal representatives were today in Tirana for the official Opening Ceremony of the IWF World Youth Championships, taking place from March 25- April 1 in Durres, a seaside resort in the coast of Albania. In the Olympic Park of the Albanian capital, the welcome to the athletes started with the parade of the 57 flags of the participating nations in the Championships. On the stage of the event, local artists and dancers offered then a pleasant show to the spectators, mostly the young competitors in the global showcase.

In his opening speech, the IWF President Mohammed Jalood considered that “Albania organised in the last couple of years four major events – two at European scale and two of world dimension, these Championships in Durres and the IWF electoral congress in 2022 in Tirana”. Mr Jalood (accompanied in the ceremony by the IWF Secretary General Antonio Urso and by many members of the IWF Executive Board) thanked the hosts for the “wonderful hospitality” and recalled the “tradition, history and good results of Albania in weightlifting”. He concluded his introductory words by wishing to the Albanian delegation “the best possible luck at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris!”

Also a happy leader was Mr Elez Gjoza, President of the Albanian Weightlifting Federation and host of the Championships. “We are very proud and grateful to the IWF Executive Board for their trust in Albania for the staging of this event. Everything has been carefully and positively prepared,” considered Mr Gjoza. The Albanian official then expressed his appreciation for the support received by the city of Tirana. “The Mayor of our capital is doing an amazing job for the citizens. But he is also strongly supporting the sport and the organization of major events in our country. This is a strong legacy for our youth and children,” concluded the President of the Albanian Weightlifting Federation.

Action debut in Durres

The 2023 edition of the IWF World Youth Championships starts this Saturday in Durres (ALB) and will be attended by 268 athletes (135 men, 133 women), coming from 57 countries. Seven national delegations are bringing 10 or more competitors to this event: the USA (17), India (13), Chinese Taipei, Egypt and Ukraine (all with 12), and Armenia and Kazakhstan (11 each).

The inaugural day of these Championships – for lifters aged from 13 to 17 years of age at the end of this year – will include two finals, the men’s 49kg and the women’s 40kg. In the male’s category, Minh Dao Bui (VIE) has the highest entry (200kg) and is followed by Eron Borres (198kg) and by Prince Keil Delos Santos (197kg), both from the Philippines. Bui is also the youngest participant of the field (nine lifters will compete in the Group A, and five in the Group B), completing 14 years of age next April 6.

Among women, the top-3 in the start list are Melek Yagmur Sahin (TUR) and Maysa Khadraoui (TUN), both with an overall of 125kg, and Roimary Brito Rangel (VEN, 120kg). Ivy Buzinhani Brustello (CAN) – she will be 13 on April 7 – is the youngest competitor of the seven-athlete final.

The Start Book of the Championships can be found here   

By Pedro Adrega, IWF Communications