On Monday, December 20, 2021, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) issued a press release highlighting the events of the Electoral Congress meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. According to the organization’s interim president, Dr. Michael Irani, the IWF has taken steps toward “meaningful reform and cultural change” in an effort to secure the future of powerlifting at the Olympics:
“We have been asked to provide three things: a new referee, clean competitions, and faces on our leadership team,” Irani said in the press release. “We have already delivered the first two. The third will certainly happen because of the provisions in our new constitution for more athletes and more women on the IWF Executive Board. And now we have a fixed date.”
Weightlifting is not currently set to be included in the 2028 Olympics. Their IWF conference chose The target date for the updated elections is June 25-26, 2022.
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The congressional session, which was originally scheduled to contain the election of new officials and a new president – the Iranian is disqualified because he does not have the support of his country’s federation (British weightlifting) – consisted of 101 IWF member federations. Of those associations, 69 attended in-person and the remaining 32 participated online.
The IWF also provided a more specific outline of the general election process in 2022, highlighting several key dates that precede the election itself:
- January 30, 2022: IWF Extraordinary Conference
- March 2, 2022: Call for nominations
- April 30, 2022: Candidate Examination Deadline
The Extraordinary Congress session on January 30, 2022 will present amendments to the Constitution of the International Federation of Women. The IWF intends to speed up the electoral process and specifically states that “there is a There are no proposals to weaken the strict eligibility criteria Against which candidates will be screened.”
Host Countries for IWF 2023-2025
On December 19, the IWF revealed on its website that the Executive Board has approved countries set to host some of the organization’s notable competitions from 2023 through 2025:
- IWF World Youth Championship – Albania
- IWF World Junior Championships – Mexico
- IWF World Championship – Kingdom Saudi Arabia
- IWF World Youth Championship – Peru
- IWF World Junior Championships – Spain
- IWF World Championship – Norway
Potential new Olympic bodyweight classes
According to a tweet by Everything JimDuring the conference in Tashkent, the IWF Technical Committee also revealed its proposal for new body weight classes at the Olympic Games:
Editor’s note: These categories have not been officially confirmed by the IWF.
Suggested Olympic categories:
Men: 61, 73, 89, 102, 102+
Women: 49, 59, 71, 81, 81+
– Allthingsgym December 19 2021
If accurate, these categorical changes represent a continuation of the waning Olympic presence in weightlifting. At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, weightlifters competed in eight men’s and seven women’s competitions. During the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, weight classes were equalized into seven classes for each gender.
With the sport under review by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the IWF appears to be taking measures to restore its historic position as a Games event. The revised elections in 2022 represent an initiative by the organization to secure its place in Paris 2024 and beyond.
Featured image: A. RICARDO / Shutterstock