News and Media


Award Gala of 2017 Lifter of the Year Trophies

The "Jenő Boskovics Lifter of The Year 2017" Trophies by the WORLD WEIGHTLIFTING magazine were awarded to Lasha Talakhadze and Lidia Valentin at a special Award Gala on 7 May, in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Gala was held in the prominent Rustaveli Georgian National Theatre. Dr Tamás Aján, President of the IWF and Kornél Jancsó, Editor-in-Chief of WORLD WEIGHTLIFTING presented the awards to the deserving winners. In his speech, Dr Aján said: "This is a very special occasion for more than one reason. On the one hand, this is the first time a Georgian weightlifter has been awarded since the IWF started the Lifter of the Year award in 1982. The second reason is that Lidia Valentin is the first Spanish athlete to receive this honour since the female poll started in 1991. The final result of the online vote which was launched by WORLD WEIGHTLIFTING was clear-cut: Lidia Valentin won with a huge advantage, and Lasha Talakhadze, who came second in 2016, received significantly more votes than any of the four other nominees on the magazine’s list. All the athletes shortlisted for the prestigious title were world champions.   In addition to her three Olympic medals of different colours and her three European champion titles, Lidia Valentin also won the World Championship Gold medal in Anaheim in the 75kg category. With these results, she became the most successful female lifter in the world in 2017 and the most decorated Spanish weightlifter ever. Lasha Talakhadze, who was born in Sakchere is not yet 25 years old, but he has already won all the most important titles. In addition to his three European and two World Championship gold medals, he became an Olympic Champion in Rio 2016 in the superheavyweights. He holds the World Record in Snatch as well as in Total in the +105kg bodyweight category. He crowned his triumph of 2017 when he won the male Lifter of the Year award with 9,800 votes.   The Award Gala was attended by some of Georgia's most high-profile political and sporting leaders, including Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who voiced how proud he is of the Georgian Olympic Champions who brought pride to the nation.  He thanked the IWF for bringing this prestigious event to Georgia.   Georgia's four weightlifting Olympic Champions were also present: Rafael Chimiskian, now 90 years old, was in attendance and pointed out that he started the sequence of Olympic Champions winning every 12 years. Three-time Olympic Champion Kakhi Kakhiashvili, who is now President of the Georgian Federation, and Giorgi Asanidze (gold medallist at 2004 Athens) who is now the Chief Coach behind the success of Georgian weightlifting, were also in attendance. Lasha Talakhadze, proudly joins the list of Georgia’s Olympic Champions.     International Guests of Honour included Zhanat Tussupbekov, IWF Vice President; Dr Hasan Akkus, EWF General Secretary; and Constantino Iglesias, President of Spanish Weightlifting Federation.   Mr Iglesias was deeply impressed by the ceremony and glad to report on a recent increase in interest in weightlifting in his country, especially among girls. Lidia Valentin expressed that she was greatly honoured and the Award Gala surpassed all her expectations. Lasha Talakhadze undoubtedly considered a role model in Georgia, humbly stated that he owes his success and this honour not only to the voters and the IWF but largely to his family, wife and coach, Aftandil Gachokidze.   Both the IWF and Georgian's representatives were mutually grateful for this opportunity and agreed that Tbilisi Lifter of the Year Award Gala further contributed to the prestige and the glory of weightlifting worldwide. Watch the Gala on Youtube! Follow IWF: Facebook Instagram Twitter

The fabulous story of a promising Peruvian lifter

Memorable Moment by Julio David Palacios Tello Ercila Beatriz Limas Rosales is a promising young Peruvian weightlifter. At her 16 years she has been ranked among the top eleven youth lifters of the world in the 58 kg category at the last Youth World Championships held in May 2011 in our country, Peru. Her story is an example of tenacity and commitment for our athletes, who want to bring out the best of them. Beatrice has shown them that making efforts and overcoming obstacles are constant improvements day by day. Beatriz was born on December 5, in 1996 in a village “shipihua”, a wild tribe located downstream in Padre Abad in the Ucayali region Aguaytia, which can be reached only by the river in small boats as the dinghy. Village life unfolds in a very traditional way where the houses are raised with straw and leaves “pona”, which is a type of wood used to cover the floor of their homes, while women are preparing food cooking on wood or fire. Beatriz became involved in weightlifting for pure curiosity. When she lived in Santa Rosa community, she was watching the training of the Aguaytía League and, once when there was nobody around she started to imitate the movements she had seen during the others were training. Recognizing her interest in this discipline, Coach Pedro Pascual Zuta Paredes urged her to begin the proper weightlifting training, to which she agreed quickly and started learning the techniques of the snatch and clean and jerk. Her skills were improving, her technique was getting better during the trainings; it did not take much effort to her to adapt to the daily life of the same. The time arrived soon to show her quality as an athlete and make her debut in a tournament held in Chachapoyas where she managed to be within the best three of her division being the youngest among the juniors. Therefore she could participate in the National Championship for Minors organized in the city of Arequipa in December 2010 where Beatrice became the national champion setting a new national record in her age group (under 13 years) in the 40 kg category. Until today, Limas became national champion three times and also was considered the best athlete of 2010 among the athletes under 15 years old of the city of Arequipa. Since 2011, Beatriz has been training in Cuba in order to improve her training methods thanks to a scholarship granted by the ADO (Association of Olympic Athletes in Peru) where at the same time she is s pursuing her studies and the target is not other but the next Olympic cycle on the way to the Rio Olympic Games 2016. All these achievements at such a young age made Beatriz very admired and respected in her village, managing to overcome obstacles as an athlete at national and international levels and trying to improve herself always with the aim to become better and better. On the other hand, we shall emphasize that prior to getting involved with weightlifting, Beatriz never went to school, did not speak Spanish, only the dialect of her tribe (Shipibo language). She did not know neither how to write until start practicing our discipline. Then she started to learn the Castilian (standard Spanish) language little by little and writing with remarkable facility and cleverness. In 2011 she participated in the VIII and IX Pan American and South American Championship for athletes under 15 years in Isla Margarita – Venezuela, occupying a creditable 4th place among the Pan American and occupying third place in the South American lifters achieving three bronze medals for Peru and making three new national records in her category. Limas is also involved in a program of the PAD (Athletes’ Support Program) promoted by the Peruvian Sports Institute (IPD), in addition she gained a scholarship in Havana, Cuba, Peru thanks to the ADO Board, an association whose purpose is to support the high performance athletes of Peru with the help of the Peruvian Olympic Committee, the Peruvian State through the Ministry of Education and the private sector, a task performed for the first time in Peru. Julio David Palacios Tello Technical Coordinator

My weightlifting family

Moment of the Year by Moira Lassen My most memorable moment of 2011 is not one single moment but rather a memorable reaction to a moment. I had just arrived back home in Ottawa and was recovering from jet lag after twenty-five hours of travel, a two week stint of meetings and acting as President of Jury at the Junior World Championships in Malaysia. I was typing my Jury President's report and the phone rang; it was my Mother to advise me of the devastating news that my Dad had just passed away. I was alone. I didn't understand what she was telling me as my mind still felt like it was at 30,000 feet and what little brain function I did have was focused on weightlifting reports, updates, and committee to-do lists. How could this be, two weeks earlier on the way to the Junior Worlds, I visited my parents in Victoria, BC and everything was fine. The rest of the day is still rather blurry in my memory, although I do know, later that day, after a five hour plane ride I found myself safely in the arms of my family at my parents home; sadly, with the patriarch of the family missing. Very early the next morning, as I sat alone, very sad and very jet lagged, while all others slept, my Blackberry started buzzing. Word was out that I had lost my Dad and I was receiving many heartfelt messages from around the country and all over the world. As I sat alone, that early morning, with tears welling in my eyes, I realized once again, I was safely tucked in the arms of my family; my weightlifting family. My Dad always delighted in the stories my daughter, Jeane and I shared of our weightlifting travels and he and my Mum attended many regional and national competitions including 1999 Pan Am Games and 2003 World Championships. Although, he never participated in the sport, soccer (football) was his game growing up in Scotland; he was a huge supporter of the sport of weightlifting. The sport has lost a very big fan! So my most memorable moment of 2011, although, very sad, felt very comforting with the arms of my weightlifting family around me. Moira

The lead changed ten times

Memorable Moment by Jim Schmitz I didn’t have just one memorable moment, I had several. That’s the reason why I attend the World Championships every year. My first memorable moment was when I saw this lifter from Australia, Malek Chamoun 85 kg bodyweight category, being guided out to the platform by his coach. I thought that’s odd, why is the coach doing that as coaches aren’t allowed on the stage. Then someone told me he is blind. I thought “Wow”, that’s incredible and it was. He snatched 135 kg on his first attempt then missed 140 kg twice. He got himself in trouble on his clean and jerks, missing the jerk with 170 kg twice before making it on his third attempt. Let me tell you this is a courageous, determined young man. He totaled 305 kg for the 31st place, but what an inspiration. My next memorable moment was the incredible competition between the two Russian lifters Khadzimurat Akkaev and Dmitry Klokov in the 105 kg bodyweight category. What a battle! Klokov is heavier, 104.6 kg to 104.44 kg, opens with 187 kg, Akkaev opens with 190 kg, Klokov does 192 kg, Akkaev does 195 kg, Klokov now does 196 kg, Akkaev then does 198 kg. These were six absolutely beautiful perfect snatches. Klokov opens the Clean and Jerks with 220 kg followed by Akkaev with 222 kg. Now competition strategy enters into their battle, trying to force the other into taking too much or the wrong weight. Klokov does 225 kg, Akkaev is now behind by one kilo, but instead of just trying to stay ahead he jumps to 228 kg, which he makes forcing Klokov to take a big jump. Klokov only needs 231 kg to take the lead, but he must feel he needs every kilo so he takes and makes 232 kg to take the lead back with a 428 kg in the Total to Akkaev’s 426 kg. This means Akkaev must also take and make the 232 kg in order to win, well he did it. Just a fantastic competition, one where you would have seen if they had one more attempts each. The lead changed ten times and no misses, this was textbook lifting. Every World Championships is extremely memorable to me, I could go on and on and that’s why I haven’t missed one since 1976. By Jim Schmitz

Salimi’s new world record and my shaking hands

Moment of the Year by Mohammad Reza Akhoundi The most memorable moment of 2011 for me as a journalist was when Behdad Salimi set new world record in snatch, and I had to write this great moment with my shaking hands in order to send it to the Iranian media outlets. During Paris Championships 2011, I had to send many reports to several newspapers and news agencies inside Iran, as the weightlifting competitions are very important for the Iranian people. Meanwhile as there was no photographer from Iran I was also responsible for taking photos. This had made my work more complicated, and in the competitions in which the Iranian weightlifters won medals, the situation was very hard for me. On the final day of championships when Behdad Salimi was competiting , we were aware that he wanted to break the world record in snatch. Rather than writing the reports, I took my camera and went to the photographers' stand. When Behdad came to the podium for the third time and set new record, I was so excited that could not even take a good photo. As I was rushed to send this very great report to Iran I went back to press tribune thinking about my not accurate photos. At the same time I missed a very beautiful scene, when Behdad sat on the barbell cheering with the audience for his remarkable victory and then embraced Hussein Rezazadeh, Iranian icon formerly holding the snatch record. I was so disappointed for losing the scene. Although my excitement just continued and my shaking hands did not allow me to write the reports quickly, I was proud to have witnessed the most memorable moment in the history of Iran’s sport. Mohammad Reza Akhoundi Senior Editor of Sport Group at Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA)

The appropriate hairstyle

Moment of the Year by Anton Kislyakov At the European Junior and Under 23 Championships held in Bucharest, Romania from 9 to 18 September 2011 two Russian female athletes wanted to enter the competition in the 53kg bodyweight category: Mariia Lubina and Ksenia Maximova. Ksenia Maximova, from the Republic of Bashkortostan, Master of Sport of Russia, was to represent the Russian Federation in Bucharest, but her bodyweight exceeded 53kg. In spite of her efforts, she couldn’t reach the desired result and a few grams could deprive her of the participation at the Junior Competitions. Ten minutes before the weigh-in Igor Alekseev, Head Coach of the Junior Team made the only correct decision: to cut Ksenia’s long hair and leave a short ponytail instead. Ksenia weighed-in with 53kg sharp. She did her best at the competition and managed to grab the 3rd place of the podium in the 53kg bodyweight category. Just like her compatriot Mariia Lubina, Ksenia also ended the competition with a Total of 181kg. Less than 1kg difference in the bodyweight made Mariia Lubina gain the Silver Medal. This is not a unique story, but a perfect example that shows the strong will and determination of the Russian athletes to win. The Russian Weightlifting Federation is proud of the Junior and Youth weightlifters’ performance at the European Junior and Under 23 Championships – as Russia got the first place in Team Classification. Right after the competitions, the first thing Ksenia Maximova did was to visit the best beauty salon of Bucharest so she could get a new haircut from hair specialists. Anton Kislyakov Russian Weightlifting Federation