The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) today announced a record field for its forthcoming 2019 World Championships, to be held in Pattaya, Thailand from 18-27 September.
Subject to final verification of the entry list, a total of 734 athletes from 105 nations are expected: a record for the IWF that demonstrates the universal appeal of this readily-accessible sport.
Entrants include athletes from countries without an extensive record of participation in past IWF events, including Botswana and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as weightlifting continues to grow in new countries around the world
“The IWF has worked long and hard to ensure fair and clean competition in weightlifting. We are very happy to see this work delivering real results by widening the appeal of our sport,” said IWF President Tamas Ajan. “With less than a year to go until Tokyo 2020, we expect the coming IWF WorldChampionship will show how more countries than ever are likely to be challenging for Olympic medals.”
2017 and 2018 IWF Weightlifters of the year Lidia Valentin (ESP) and Lasha Talakhadze (GEO) will also be present, amid an impressive roster of past champions.
In adding to showing great strength and breadth, the Entry List published by the IWF today is further proof of success for the International Federation’s efforts to promote the sport among women athletes. A total of 339 women are expected to compete alongside 395 men, bringing the IWF’s most prestigious competition a significant step closer towards gender equality. Many teams, ranging from Great Britain to Brazil and Denmark to Ecuador have rosters featuring more women than men athletes. As a result of the IWF’s development efforts, Iran will enter women weightlifters into the IWF World Championships for the first time in Thailand, while Iraq will also enter women athletes.
“Women athletes have been leading the way when it comes to challenging stereotypes about the perceived role of women in society,” continued President Ajan. “We are very proud that women weightlifters should be playing such a prominent part among those athletes. Women weightlifters have done much to dispel the myth of a single ideal body size and type. Weightlifting is a sport that enables all men and women to develop and show their strength.”