IOC approves revised weightlifting qualification system for Tokyo Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved the International Weightlifting Federations (IWF) revised Olympic qualifying system for Tokyo Games, which now extends the qualifying period to April 30, 2021.

All results and rankings achieved by weightlifters during the qualifying events held prior to the cessation of qualifying will be retained with no changes to their value, said IWF in a statement.

Following the suspension of qualifying events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent postponement of Tokyo 2020, the revised qualifying system will allow for a further qualification period, which will run from October 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Replacements for the cancelled events originally scheduled will be held during this period.

The criteria whereby weightlifters must participate in at least six competitions throughout the overall period starting November 1, 2018 has been maintained.

Weightlifters had also been required to compete in at least one of the specified competitions during each of the first, second and third original qualifying periods.

Some weightlifters had already competed in six events, including one in each of the qualifying periods. The third period, however, was brought to a premature end by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, not all weightlifters had the opportunity to fulfil this eligibility requirement.

All weightlifters wishing to qualify for Tokyo Games will now be required to compete in at least one of the specified competitions between October 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021. This will also ensure they are subjected to any in-competition doping controls applied by the International Testing Agency (ITA).

A total of 56 men and 56 women will qualify on the basis of world ranking points collated by the IWF. A further 35 men and 35 women will qualify on the basis of continental ranking points collated by the IWF. Three men and three women will be granted host country qualifying status. And four men and four women will receive tripartite commission invitations. These elements remain unchanged from the Olympic Qualifying System that was originally approved.

“The IWF is deeply conscious of the efforts made by weightlifters and those who support them to pursue their Olympic dreams at Tokyo 2020,” said IWF Acting President Ursula Papandrea. “Preserving their progress was a vital step for us, as was ensuring a similar range of opportunities to those being provided before the pandemic halted the Olympic Qualification System for weightlifting.”