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Weightlifting competitions around the world

The last month saw many great weightlifting competitions from the Pacific Mini Games + Oceania Senior Championships in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands to the XIX Bolivarian Games in Valledupar, Colombia and 19th Mediterranean Games in Oran, Algeria. Among some highlights from the month’s events were the five days of competition with daily awards and various broken records taking place at the Bolivarian Games. Here Colombia was the country that won the most medals in weightlifting. The medal table podium for weightlifting was completed by Ecuador and Venezuela. Speaking about the Mediterranean Games, Dr. Milan Mihajlovic, Technical Delegate for the Weightlifting Competition at Oran 2022 Games and EWF General Secretary said, “I would like to thank the International Committee of Mediterranean Games, the host country, and the Organizing Committee for their dedication to the growth of our sport. Initially we had a limited competitive capacity, but with hard work we helped increase the competition from only two men’s and two women’s body weight categories with two competition days to a four-day event with five competition categories for both men and women”. The Weightlifting competition of the XIX Mediterranean Games Oran 2022 will include the following events: Men: 61 Kg,73 kg, 89 Kg, 102 Kg, +102 Kg Women: 49 Kg,59 kg, 71 Kg, 81 Kg, +81 Kg The widespread weightlifting championships that continue to be held around the world are a strong indication that our sport is growing. And not only growing in one particular demographic but in fact growing in new countries and regions around the world – making for a complete international and representative

Renewal confirmed at IWF Congress

The election of the new IWF President Mr. Mohammed Jaloud, Executive Board as well as Commissions and Committees, demonstrates the strong wish of the IWF member federations for a renewal and change within the organisation.  President Jaloud brings extensive experience within the sport; having been a weightlifting athlete for 13 years, working within the administration for 26 years and spending the last five as IWF General Secretary. His goals for the future focus on uniting the weightlifting federation and promoting the new philosophy for the organisation going forward. While it was essential for some experienced leaders to remain, a total of 12 new members have now join the Board – making for a 66% change in the leadership team. In addition, the female representation was substantially increased above the quota. Furthermore, three dedicated athlete representative positions are now an integral part of the Board (with full voting rights). In relation to the IWF Athletes’ Commission, since the election of the Vice Chairwoman Hiromi Miyake (JPN) to the IWF Executive Board, her position within the IWF AC was left vacant. Due to this activity, the IWF Athletes’ Commission officially elected Dora Tchakounte (FRA) to take over this position. Tchakounte is an Olympian, recently competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where she placed 4th in the 59kg category. She will now join Forrester Osei on the IWF Executive Board as an IWF Athlete Representative. The new IWF President Mohammed Jaloud commented on his new role and the new direction of the IWF, “I am looking forward to getting started with my new team. We have been given the confidence and trust of our members to bring positive change and this is something that I am dedicated to doing. There is a renewed energy within our organisation, I have already had the chance to discuss with my team and we are ready to work and start delivering good things for our sport. We have a lot of new members and a lot of good experience within the newly elected Executive Board. We have a much stronger female and athlete representation than ever before and we are all focused on the future of weightlifting and ensuring that we work with our Olympic

A new chapter begins for IWF

The new Executive Board of the International Weightlifting Federation met at the IWF Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Coming together for the first time since their election, there was a packed agenda set for the new leadership. Among the most important topics were weightlifting’s Olympic status as well as the foundation and future of the sport. At the recent Executive Board meeting discussions focused on the core principles of the IWF, including reviewing the past culture versus the new philosophy of the organisation and next steps in continuing to clean up the sport. Each member of the Executive Board committed to supporting the good governance initiatives already implemented and to the continued improvement of transparency and integrity within the sport. Furthermore, concrete steps were agreed. These included: commissioning the International Testing Agency (ITA) to increase the number of out-of-competition tests and enhance transparency, appointing an international auditing firm to perform a detailed financial, governance and operational due diligence of the IWF covering the past ten year, review the IWF constitution to identify any needs for adjusting operational regulations, and lastly, an adjustment will be made to the current financial management regulations and procedures to ensure a clear link between costs and obtained results. Additional points discussed also included the upcoming events for this year and next year, the support of athletes and member federations, the improvement of sponsorship and ways in which to promote the sport of weightlifting throughout the world. IWF General Secretary Antonio Urso said, “We had some great discussions and made some important decisions for weightlifting; we are looking forward to sharing more on next steps with our members and partners in the coming weeks and months ahead. But we can already promise that transparency will be at the core of everything that the IWF does from now on.” While in Lausanne, the IWF President Mohammed Jaloud, the General Secretary Antonio Urso and the First Vice President Ursula Papandrea were invited to the IOC for a meeting aimed at establishing the path forward for the IWF regarding further improve governance. The meeting was very fruitful, and many points were highlighted by the IWF leadership as to the initial steps taken by the IWF towards positive change for the future of Olympic weightlifting. Continuing on the path forward, the IWF also welcomed ASOIF’s fourth Review on IF Governance this past month. In this report by ASOIF, the IWF is proud to report back to all members that the organization had increased it’s score to secure a strong place in Group B (Group B sits in the middle of the five-group system – A1, A2, B, AT and C). Following a self-assessment questionnaire and independent evaluation conducted by ASOIF and independent experts, the IWF achieved four (4) Top 10 results in the assed indicators. This marks a significant improvement for the organisation and demonstrates the dedication of the leadership to foster transparency, modernisation and

Preparations underway for IWF Congress

The final step in the important re-organisation and renewal process of the IWF and the international weightlifting community will be completed at the upcoming IWF Electoral Congress on June 25-26 this year. Preparations for the Congress are well underway. A central part of the preparations for the IWF Congress is to have a motivated and well organised host to welcome all the IWF delegates in June.  Following an open tender process, with ten candidates from several continents, the IWF Executive Board selected Tirana, Albania as the country in which it will host the 2022 IWF Electoral Congress set to take place on 25-26 June. Notably, Albania will provide a neutral setting for the important Electoral Congress as there are no candidates put forth by the national weightlifting federation.Located in the centre of the country, Tirana, the capital and largest city of Albania, is enclosed by mountains and hills to east with a slight valley to the northwest overlooking the Adriatic Sea.IWF Interim President, Dr. Michael Irani commented, “We are so pleased to be heading to Tirana for the 2022 IWF Electoral Congress. This is a very important milestone for us, as we were asked by our Olympic partners to address three issues this past year – first updating our constitution which has been completed, second cleaning up our sport from doping which we are happy to report that there have been zero cases in Tokyo 2020 and now the election coming up this summer will complete all three”, The key agenda point for IWF Congress in Tirana will be the elections for new IWF President, Executive Board and various Committee positions where all candidates will go through a comprehensive vetting process. The vetting process is managed entirely by an independent Eligibility Determination Panel (EDP) chaired by Swiss lawyer Gabriel Nigon (pictured). In a recent update to IWF Member Federations and Candidates, Mr. Nigon, on behalf of the EDP, thanked the unprecedented large number of candidates for the IWF Election 2022 and continued, “The EDP is currently examining whether the proposed candidates meet the objective eligibility criteria on the IWF Constitution. According to the IWF Constitution the decision regarding the eligibility of a candidate must be made no later than 30 days before the date of the IWF Electoral Congress, which in this case means 25th of May 2022”. The objective eligibility criteria to be met by all candidates are listed under Article 13.12 and 37.2 of the newly approved IWF Constitution (can be downloaded from IWF website). The IWF will in the coming days send to the Member Federations logistical information regarding the IWF Congress.  This will include how to register for the Congress, obtain visas for Albania, the IWF Congress Agenda and hotel bookings and

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 -

Busy month for IWF leadership

This last month turned out to be a very busy month for the IWF leadership with several important decisions made on various fronts as well as the successful official inauguration of the IWF headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland One of the mains decisions made by the IWF Executive Board was to appoint Colombia as the host of the 2022 IWF Senior World Championships.  With the election of Bogotá, Colombia to replace Chongqing, China (which had due withdraw as a result on the COVID 19 situation in China) it will be the second time an IWF Senior World Championship has been organised South America after Lima (1971). Colombia was one of eight IWF member countries who expressed interest in hosting the event. The eight countries made a presentation of their offers to the IWF Executive Committee followed by a question & answer session. A secret vote then decided the winner and Bogotá prevailed by a majority vote. William Peña, President of the Colombian Weightlifting Federation was understandably very excited following the IWF decision: “We are going to work together so that Bogotá is remembered as the venue for the best Weightlifting World Championship where history is made”.  The exact dates will soon be specified and will in any case be within the period November 1st and December 31st, 2022. Another important part of the upcoming international weightlifting event schedule was also concluded in April with the publication of the qualification system for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.  The Olympic weight classes and schedule were announced with Weightlifting having five categories apiece for men and woman with 12 athletes entered in each event.  Men will compete at 61kg, 73kg, 89kg, 102kg and +102kg while women will compete at 49kg, 59kg, 71 kg, 81kg and +81kg. Four methods will determine the Paris field: Olympic Qualification Ranking/OQR (100 athletes), continental representation (10), host country quota places (4), universality places (6). The qualification system for Paris 2024 has been well received within the weightlifting community with CJ Cummings, a 2020 Olympian at 73kg and the youngest U.S. Olympic weightlifter in 21 years saying: “The new qualification system seems a lot less complex than the prior one. The top lifters in the top events get to go to the Olympics. After having to wait five years for my first Olympics, it’s exciting to know what the path forward looks like as I try to earn another opportunity to represent Team USA.” And finally, the busy month for the IWF leadership was completed with the hosting of a well-visited event at the Maison du Sport International in the Olympic capital of Lausanne, Switzerland. Due to the impact and restrictions brought about by the pandemic, the IWF was unable to celebrate the move of its headquarters to Lausanne a year ago. Dr. Michael Irani, the IWF Interim President welcomed the many guests from the international, Olympic sport world and also pointed to the important symbolic value of the headquarters move from Budapest to Lausanne “It is very important to celebrate our move here to Lausanne as it also marks a move to a new and bright future for the IWF and for global Weightlifting”. In addition to the many sports organisations executives, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion Meso Hassona, 2021 World Champion and World Record holder in Snatch, Lesman Paredes, and Tokyo 2020 Olympian, Yazmin Stevens, all Athlete Ambassadors of the IWF, also joined the