IWF Recommends New Individual Olympic Qualification Process

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

With the recent controversy in clean competition being a heated topic of discussion in the weightlifting world as of late, it’s no surprise the IWF Sport Programme Commission (SPC) is taking action. 

The SPC met this week to discuss changes to the Olympic Qualification system, competition format, and weight categories with new recommendations on the qualification system.

The SPC recommended that individual athletes qualify for the Games over a shortened 18-month period before Tokyo 2020. Two IWF World Championships take place over the course of these 18 months. The athletes looking to qualify will be required to participate in Olympic Qualification competitions to ensure they’re routinely subjected to doping tests.

The previous qualification process was a very complicated points-based system in which countries earned spots by competing at the two World Championships leading up to the Olympic Games then decided internally which athletes they would send.

As far as the changes to weight class categories go, male and female athletes from all weight categories will compete during the qualification process — from which seven will form the Olympic medal events for each gender. 

A maximum of 14 athletes per weight class will compete, with each nation allowed a maximum of only four athletes per gender and only one per medal event. 

The SPC is still in discussion with the format of new weight categories. The competition format is also under review as the SPC explores new ways to make the events as exciting and appealing to the audience as possible. 

You can read the full release by the IWF here.


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