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The age of all dreams

At 12 years and 264 days old, the majority of athletes are barely starting training and competing in the sport they love. Today, in Durres (ALB), Ivy Marie Buzinhani Brustello, from Canada, became the youngest-ever world champion in the history of the IWF, sweeping the three gold medals at stake in the women’s 40kg. In the snatch, the Canadian lifted 53kg, in the clean & jerk she was also the best with 67kg, getting a third total victory of 120kg. Showing a notable maturity given her young age, it was a happy but very calm Ivy Marie who professionally spoke with the media after the medal ceremony. She recalled her debut in the sport, her aspirations coming to Albania and, most importantly, she revealed her future secrets. At almost 13 (on July 4), things are clear in her mind.


“I’ve always thought of competing at the Olympics. This is my most cherished dream. 2028 or 2032, I still don’t know, let’s see how things evolve. Coming to Albania and living this experience, it’s already something fantastic,” Ivy Marie reveals. Debuting in the sport at 7, after doing some gymnastics, she rapidly understands that behind an apparently fragile body, there is a lot of strength and determination. “A couple of years later, I realised I wanted to be a professional in weightlifting. The road is still very long, but I want to continue evolving,” she admits.


Training five times a week (for a daily average of two hours, based on the school schedule), the Canadian concedes that “a lot of sacrifices are needed to succeed”. Especially at her age: “My schoolmates can do whatever they want after school. I don’t. But weightlifting is something I always wanted to do, so it’s worth all the sacrifices!”

1-2 for the Philippines

The Philippines started in the best possible way with its participation at these Championships, with the gold and silver in the men’s 49kg. The archipelago heroes were Prince Keil Delos Santos, world youth champion with a total of 205kg, and Eron Borres, silver medallist with 201kg. Both still aged 15 (Santos will be 16 on April 9, while Borres will celebrate his birthday on September 1), the two teammates were naturally happy and proud of their performances after the medal ceremony.


“I started the sport through a friend’s influence, at the age of 9. After that, I fell in love with weightlifting and I never stopped. When I was recruited to the national team, I understood that I had potential and that I could be successful in the sport,” recalled Delos Santos. On his second international major event – after taking part in the 2022 Asian Youth Championships in Tashkent (UZB) – the raising star was also the best in the snatch event, with 92kg. He was then second to his compatriot in the clean & jerk, lifting 113kg (Borres did slightly better, with 114kg).


Training an average of three hours a day, Delos Santos confesses that they were quite optimistic about getting these successful results – both competitors made personal bests on this inaugural day in Albania.


At 15, all dreams are allowed and when asked about their prospects for the future, the same four words were simultaneously pronounced by the two athletes: “To be Olympic champions!” And the place for glory is also chosen: “The 2028 Games in Los Angeles”.

By Pedro Adrega, IWF Communications