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IWF Sport Programme Commission recommends changes to Tokyo 2020 weightlifting programme

Commission meets in the Olympic Capital to discuss innovations to Olympic qualification system, event field size and weight categories

14 November 2017; Lausanne: The IWF Sport Programme Commission (SPC) concluded its three-day meeting in Lausanne by agreeing a number of recommendations designed to protect the integrity of the sport and ensure the very best, clean weightlifting competitions at Tokyo 2020.

The five-person Commission composed of representatives from all major IWF stakeholders, met at the IWF headquarters in Lausanne on 11-13 November. The primary focus of the meeting was to address the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games weightlifting programme, including the Olympic qualification system, the competition format, event field size and the bodyweight categories.

The SPC recommended individual qualification through a shortened (18 months) qualification period for Tokyo 2020, during which time there would be two IWF World Championships. Athletes will be required to regularly participate in Olympic Qualification competitions to ensure that they are regularly subjected to in-competition doping control. The shortened period would also make anti-doping testing easier to implement and more cost-effective.

Male and female athletes will compete across the IWF bodyweight categories during the qualification period, from which seven will form the Olympic medal events at Tokyo 2020 for each gender.

A maximum of 14 athletes per bodyweight category will compete in Tokyo with each National Olympic Committee (NOC) allowed a maximum of four athletes per gender and only one per medal event.

The SPC is continuing to review the existing bodyweight categories to make recommendations to the IWF Technical Committee and Executive Board regarding the new bodyweight categories. The SPC is also exploring innovative and exciting new event formats which will be implemented to keep the sport as appealing and relevant to a global audience as possible.

Speaking after the meeting, IWF Director General and member of the IWF SPC, Attila Adamfi, said:

“We have had a very productive meeting here in Lausanne as we work towards ensuring that the IWF delivers the very best, clean weightlifting competitions at Tokyo 2020. We want to make sure that we are protecting the integrity of our sport and also provide the most engaging and exciting competitions for our athletes and fans. We have had very good cooperation with the IOC and are continuing to work closely with them. The IWF takes its responsibility to the Olympic Movement very seriously and is committed to promoting the Olympic values around the world.

“While our primary focus is of course on the next Olympic Games, we are also examining opportunities to innovate our sport further which will go beyond the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. We are assessing new bodyweight categories, new formats, and new disciplines all of which will make our sport more appealing, particularly to younger audiences.”

The SPC’s recommendations will be presented to the IWF Executive Board for approval during their next meeting on 25-26 November 2017.

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