last weekend, The International Weightlifting Federation arranged a congress in Tashkent where a plethora of questions concerning our sport – the Olympic Weightlifting – has been raised.
The selection and qualification system for the Olympic Games in Paris was one of those. I shall remind you that the International Olympic Committee has set several requirements about the number of categories as well as the number of participants in the weight categories.
The most notable reasons are the expansion of the types of sports included in the Olympic Games, prolonged TV broadcasts and above all the sanctions related to a collapsing count of doping cases. In this article, we are going to run through the main provisions of the Paris Olympics 2024 qualification system.
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- Weight Categories. Let’s start with the most important thing – there are gonna be 5 weight categories for each gender in the forthcoming Olympics.
Many weightlifting-focused media had already been discussing the options for weight categories allocation, differences and traits of anatomies, and anthropometric measurements of different nations and also made various assumptions about conclusions IWF will finally come to. There was no miracle: categories were slightly mixed-up and reduced in the number from 7 to 5. It is worth noting that such practices exist in other Olympic Sports as well. For instance, in rhythmic gymnastics female athletes compete with 5 apparatuses: hoop, rope, ribbon, ball and clubs at the World and European Championships. While there are only 4 apparatuses included in the Olympics program, and one new apparatus becomes excluded each Olympic cycle.
Definitely, not only would there be those who fit in these categories, but also those who will be left on the sidelines of Olympic competitions. Cutting the number of weight categories will obviously make the selection harsher and more competitive.
- Quota places allocation (licenses) is gonna be the following. The total number of athletes is 120, meaning 60 men and 60 women. 55 of them could win the licenses, 4 (2 men and 2 women) quota places are guaranteed to the France National Team (Host country), another 6 (3 men and 3 women) are universality places that are going to be allocated at the discretion of the International Olympic Committee.
- The Maximum number of athletes (per every weight class) – each country can provide 3 athletes of each gender. As for these Olympics, there can be only one athlete per weight category presented by each country.
- Quota place (license) which a national athlete wins is personalized. So are the universality licenses. Quota places of the Host Country are allocated at its own discretion.
- Olympic Qualification Ranking (OQR) is organized as follows.
IWF is going to publish on their website the total weightlifting results (in kg) of all the participants claiming qualification in the weight category for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.
- Olympic Qualification Ranking is going to be compiled on the following international competitions results:
- All 2022-2024 continental championships, acknowledged (Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, Pan-American Union) provided they are not carried out at the designated OQR period.
- World Championship 2022-2023.
- IWF World Cup, April 2024.
In case two or more athletes in a similar weight category show the same result, they must be ranked by the time when this result was achieved by each of them according to Greenwich Mean Time, if necessary.
Nine (9) athletes with the highest ranks in each weight category at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will have been allocated for quota places by the end of the qualification period.
If one of these athletes is a person who got a quota place due to winning the 2024 IWF World Cup then an athlete with the next rank will have a quota place assigned.
If an athlete is one of the top nine (9) more than in one weight category his NOC must consult the National Weightlifting Federation and proclaim the weight category this particular athlete will compete in Olympic Games to IWF. This athlete will be excluded from other weight categories rankings. Now getting scores in different categories makes more sense for those who can participate both in 102 and 102+ and women in 81 and 81+ for additional insurance in their chances.
The qualification period will start on July the 1st 2022 and will come to an end on May 28, 2024.
The winners of the 2024 IWF World Cup in the Olympic weight category will get a quota place. If one more athlete with the same weight category from this country has a quota place, he will be automatically removed from the rankings. This will surely cause some friendly fire to happen)))
To widen the country representatives number on the Olympic Games quota places (licenses) will be additionally played out on continental competitions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, Pan-American Union) with the following criteria:
– the country can get only 2 quota places, one (1) for men and one (1) for women.
– the continental federations with the lowest quota place count in percentage terms for the related gender will be prioritized.
– such quota places can only be allocated only to the countries that have not received any quota places for this gender in any weight category.
– within the limitations that have been set up by the preceding paragraphs in this section, an athlete with the highest ranking in all weight categories must be given a quota place.
– if two or more athletes in the qualification competitions in all weight categories have the same ranking, the one from the federation with the least percentage of allocated quota places should be given a quota place.
If the athlete that received a quota place can’t participate in the Olympic Games due to some reasons, this quota place is passed to the athlete which follows him in rank.
There are a couple of lesser organizational details in qualification system documents.
Only men and women totally have 5 weight categories, 60 participants for each gender, 3 athletes from each country, 1 athlete per weight category.
The Olympic Games will be held from July 26th to August 11th2024 in Paris, France.
It will be exciting!
What do you think about the new categories, what PROs and CONs do they have? Leave your comments under this video.
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