The weightlifting news from this week (Feb 27th – March 4th) includes:
- How the IWF might respond to a potentially barren April
- Junior World Championships were canceled
- The Arnold Sports Festival cancels spectators, and then reverses its decision
- Sohrab Moradi keeps his Olympic hopes alive… just!
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How the IWF might respond to a potentially barren April
With several Olympic qualifiers canceled, including the gold tier Junior World Championships, the IWF need to pull together a Plan B, C, and D with how the Olympic qualification system ought to end assuming April’s continental championships are in any way altered. For a full breakdown of how the qualification system works, check out the WH guide.
What Happens if Some of the Continental Championships are Canceled?
The IWF has already announced that they will allow athletes to compete at a different continental championship in April if their own championships are affected by the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak. Read more.
With the Asian Championships having already been moved from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan, they seem like the most likely of all to be canceled, though hopefully strict plans will be put in place to ensure they go ahead. Should they be canceled, this rule would allow Asian athletes to compete at one of the other four championships. The difficulty will be in receiving visas in time, especially during a time where countries won’t be in a rush to provide visas, making flight and accommodation plans, and potentially facing the possibility of competing two weeks earlier than anticipated.
What Happens if All of the Continental Championships are Canceled?
Though no official statement from the IWF has been released concerning protocol should the entire final month of the Olympic qualification system be wiped out, there are situations that seem more likely than others.
Currently, athletes are required to compete six times across three six month qualification periods. It seems that the best way forward should athletes be unable to complete their final competition requirements, is to require just four totals, with the top three counting towards qualification system, and at least one of those totals in each of the first two qualifying periods.
Though this will still leave out those who were injured or were waiting for two gold tier events during the third and final period, it seems the best of a bad bunch of outcomes. We don’t envy the IWF’s decisions right now!
If you want to learn more about potential outcomes and the effects it may have on the Olympics you can listen to this week’s News Show podcast using the player at the top of the page.
Junior World Championships were canceled
The competition would have been a gold-level Olympic qualification event, so the cancellation may dent the qualification hopes of some junior athletes. It is possible that this competition was shut down prematurely due to the involvement of minors rather than adults. Such stringent rules may not apply to senior Championships.
The Arnold Sports Festival Cancels Spectators, and then Reverses its Decision
Due to concerns about the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, the Arnold Sports Festival announced that it would not allow spectators for most events, including the weightlifting competition. Competitors from China, Italy, Japan, Iran, and South Korea were also informed that they were no longer allowed to compete.
The Arnold Sports Festival tends to draw over 200,000 spectators and generate roughly $50 million for the Columbian economy through tourism. It was perhaps for this reason that the very next day the Arnold released another statement reversing their decision, allowing spectators to continue with their Arnold plans.
Prominent athletes like Kate Nye had already made the decision to withdraw from the competition.
Sohrab Moradi Keeps his Olympic Hopes Alive… Just!
Iranian Olympic champion Sohrab Moradi competed at the West Asian Championships in Dubai last week, snatching 163kg and clean & jerking 207kg for a 370kg total, 46kg under his world record from the 2018 World Championships.
This performance gave Sohrab 803 Robi points, meaning that he will need roughly another 1,300 points at the gold-tier Asian Championships, a competition that provides a 10% Robi bonus. 1300 points at a gold-tier event will require a 422kg total in M96 – 6kg over his own world record. It’s possible, but it’s a long shot.