A meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board in Lausanne last week has approved a significant increase in the quotas for young male and female weightlifters at the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games.
The total number of weightlifters will rise to 144, from 110 in Buenos Aires 2018, with an equal number of places for boys and girls. Six bodyweight categories will continue to apply to girls and six to boys.
"In the space of just a few years, we have gone from questions over the place of weightlifting on the Olympic Programme to this significant show of confidence from the IOC," said International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) president Tamas Ajan.
"This remarkable progress is the result of a huge effort from so many people whose commitment to weightlifting has been truly humbling. And for the IWF, there could be no greater satisfaction than seeing the next generation of weightlifters being the first to benefit from greater Olympic opportunities," Ajan added.
Dakar 2022 bodyweight categories for boys will be 55kg, 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 81kg, +81kg. For girls, they will be 45kg, 49kg, 55kg, 59kg, 64kg, +64kg. These bodyweight categories will be new for Dakar 2022 and reflect changes made for weightlifting competitions at the senior level.
The changes in bodyweight categories formed part of a wide range of recommendations from the IWF Sports Programme Commission aimed at ensuring this new chapter in the sport's history prioritises the achievements of clean athletes.
"The IWF's work to promote clean sport and protect clean athletes is far from over. Securing weightlifting's place on the Olympic Programme and obtaining more chances for young weightlifters at the Youth Olympic Games is just the beginning," Ajan said.
"The IWF is determined to ensure a lasting culture of clean weightlifting as a key characteristic of our sport at every level," he added.
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