The weightlifting news from this week (Feb 19th-26th) includes:
- The cancellation of silver tier Olympic qualifier East Asian Championships due to concerns of the spreading of the coronavirus
- Colombia’s three positives suggest the country’s removal from the 2020 Olympic Games
- The ousting of the president of the Pan American Weightlifting Federation, Willian Ozuna, due to manipulation of regulations
- Olympic champion Sohrab Moradi set to compete at the West Asian Championships in last-ditch attempt to gain momentum for Olympic qualification
- Battle at 61kg continues in the training hall between Li Fabin (CHN) and Eko Yuli Irawan (IDN)
- Mattie Rogers and Jenny Arthur train hard to dislodge the other from an Olympic spot
- Latvia’s Rebeka Koha returns to good shape
Coronavirus shuts down East Asian Championships
The East Asian Weightlifting Championships, due to start 27th February in Seoul, has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The competition was due to be a silver-level Olympic qualifier. Its cancellation could, therefore, cause problems for athletes who planned to use a result from it as part of their qualification requirements.
Three Colombians test positive for Boldenone
The IWF has announced that three Colombian weightlifters have tested positive for the banned steroid Boldenone or its metabolites. According to the IWF Olympic qualifying process, a nation with three doping violations within the eighteen-month qualification period should be excluded completely from qualification.
Big changes in Pan American Weightlifting Federation
Allegations of mismanagement have surrounded president, Willian Ozuna, as well as the federation in recent years. This culminated in a group of national federations working together to unseat him. The most strident open criticism came from Gustavo Malgor, president of the Argentinian Weightlifting Federation, who said: “I am tired of seeing how Willian Ozuna manipulates regulations and norms at will, particularly in every Congress.”
Sohrab Moradi continues injury-ridden journey to Tokyo
Despite an unsuccessful 12 months of training, Olympic champion and current world record holder Sohrab Moradi is set to compete on February 28th at the West Asian championships in a bid to improve his current standings. Though currently in 80th place in the world in the 96kg category, two strong performances at the West Asian Championships and the Asian Championships (April) might still be enough for him.
Though his 360kg entry total is still some way off his 2018 world record performance of 416kg, it is a significant improvement on the 200kg total that he posted at the 49th ‘Challenge 210’ in October 2019.