From Sept. Four-17, 2023, the Worldwide Weightlifting Federation‘s (IWF) World Weightlifting Championships start in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This competitors is extra than simply one other exhibition of world-class weightlifting; it marks the primary necessary worldwide occasion within the Paris 2024 Olympic Video games qualification cycle.
As such, the lifting in Riyadh is anticipated to be explosive. With lower than a 12 months remaining till the graduation of the 2024 Paris Video games, aspiring Olympians have just a few probabilities left to ink their names on the prime of the IWF’s qualification leaderboard. You possibly can anticipate them to grab that chance in Riyadh.
From outdated favorites to some promising newcomers and full nations price of athletes who haven’t competed in years, the 2023 WWC boasts one of many strongest single-competition rosters in trendy historical past. Under are who to keep watch over when the competitors begins,
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2023 World Weightlifting Championships | Athletes To Watch
Listed here are just a few opponents, weight classes, and groups anticipated to do huge issues in Riyadh. The IWF has restricted entry to its last entry checklist on its web site, however you may try the checklist of preliminary entrants for a extra complete image of the roster in every class.
Ritvars Suharevs (M73KG, LAT)
Latvia’s Suharevs is without doubt one of the youngest veteran opponents within the European circuit, having competed in IWF-sanctioned occasions as a youth as early as 2012. Flash ahead 11 years, and Mr. Suharevs has locked in additional than a handful of spectacular performances, together with a win on the 2019 Junior WWC and sixth place on the 2020 Olympics.
Publish-Tokyo, Suharevs underwent twin shoulder surgical procedure, which sidelined him from worldwide competitors early into the Paris qualification cycle. He’s quickly making up for misplaced time, although: After putting 14th on the 2022 WWC, Suharevs locked in a stellar end result at this 12 months’s European Weightlifting Championships, the place he received the general gold medal within the extremely aggressive 73-kilogram class. Suharevs has momentum on his facet; all he must do is carry it ahead.
Varazdat Lalayan (M+109KG, ARM)
Because the saying goes, ‘should you come for the king, you’d finest not miss.’ Armenia’s premiere superheavyweight, Varazdat Lalayan, has tried to dethrone Georgia’s Lasha Talakhadze within the 109-kilogram division twice in a 12 months’s time. He’s failed twice — Talakhadze is, indisputably, the strongest aggressive weightlifter in historical past.
Nonetheless, the two-time Olympia champion’s reign could also be coming to an finish at Lalayan’s fingers. Ever since Talakhadze put his weight class in a stranglehold in roughly 2016, no athlete has come near unseating him. However Lalayan has inched ever nearer. His final handful of aggressive appearances all resulted in handily profitable a silver medal whereas growing his Whole within the course of.
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Eventually 12 months’s Worlds, Lalayan set a profession better of 462 kilograms and pushed Talakhadze, who was recovering from an damage on the time, to the brink. With the very best entry Whole of the 2023 WWC, Talakhadze is anticipated to win his seventh World title — however Lalayan will make him combat tooth and nail for it.
Lasha Talakhadze (M+109KG, GEO)
Within the trendy historical past of weightlifting, no human has lifted extra weight over their head than the +109-kilogram Georgian titan Lasha Talakhadze. Since his first Olympic gold medal at Rio in 2016, Talakhadze has been the frontiersman of the game, pushing the boundaries of what was thought of potential on the weightlifting platform.
Followers of the game have lengthy anticipated Talakhadze, who has a career-best Whole of 492 kilograms from the 2021 WWC, could be the primary (and maybe solely) man to crack the legendary 500-kilogram Whole barrier. Nonetheless, Talakhadze injured his thigh in the summertime of 2022, derailing his pursuit.
He’s nonetheless undefeated internationally since 2012 however has but to interrupt again into 490-and-beyond territory on an IWF stage. With athletes like Varazdat Lalayan closing in on the highest of his podium, it’s now or by no means for Talakhadze.
The center-heavyweight feminine divisions have lengthy been among the many sport’s best classes, a pattern that has continued within the Ladies’s 71s because the class was minted in 2018. Flash ahead 5 years, and the 71-kilogram class is main the cost for ladies weightlifters. This 12 months’s WWC will host among the most spectacular performers throughout all lessons and genders.
The proof is within the pudding: The snatch and Whole world data have been each damaged this summer season by Ecuador’s Angie Palacios Dajomes (121 kilograms) and China’s Liao Guifang (268 kilograms). The truth is, Dajomes took the snatch report from Guifang, who lifted 120 only a few months prior.
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Additionally in attendance are 2022 World Champion Loredana Toma, Tokyo silver medalist Kate Vibert, and a comparatively unknown North Korean weightlifter named Track Kuk Hyang, who hasn’t competed internationally in 4 years’ time, and who has the second-highest entry Whole within the class (260 kilos). At this level, each slot on the rostrum is up for grabs.
Antonino Pizzolato (M89KG, ITA)
When Italy’s Antonino Pizzolato set a 217-kilogram clear & jerk and 392-kilogram Whole world report on the 2022 European Championships, it was one thing of a watershed second. On the time, the hypothetical world customary benchmarks within the 89-kilogram class had been unbroken for practically 4 years.
Enter Pizzolato, who planted the primary flag within the division shortly after it had been named a aggressive class for Paris 2024. Since then, Pizzolato has abstained from worldwide competitors and misplaced each of his world data as effectively a number of instances over.
Most lately, China’s Li Dayin secured each on the 2023 Asian Weightlifting Championships. Dayin can even attend this 12 months’s Worlds. The burden is on Pizzolato’s shoulders to reclaim his place within the report books, however historical past has proven he has what it takes; he’s acquired a ten-kilogram margin on Dayin within the entry Whole.
Hampton Morris (M61KG, USA)
19-year-old Hampton Morris is probably the most promising male athlete the USA has had in a very long time. Morris, who has repeatedly set and reset the senior American Information as a Junior athlete, is a global powerhouse. He’s acquired Youth and Junior World titles to his title and most lately received a silver medal on the 2023 IWF Grand Prix I.
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Morris can be identified for setting some spectacular unofficial world data in coaching, together with a 179-kilogram unofficial clear & jerk report (China’s Li Fabin owns it formally at 175) from July. If Morris can muster his energy on the platform when it issues, he’s a severe contender for gold within the clear & jerk.
Kamila Konotop (W59KG, UKR)
It’s straightforward to be enamored by the celebrities of weightlifting — athletes who’ve already ascended to the highest of the game and who proceed to outline robust. However rising stars like Ukraine’s Kamila Konotop deserve simply as a lot consideration, particularly since she’s nonetheless hovering and reveals no indicators of slowing down.
To date, Konotop has flown below the radar internationally. She’s quietly received a slew of titles in Europe, together with the 59-kilogram Senior title in 2023. Her fast progress within the Whole is probably the most compelling, although.
At 20 years of age, Konotop positioned fifth within the Tokyo Olympics with a 206-kilogram Whole. To win Euros this 12 months, she comfortably Totaled 235. Her ascent is without doubt one of the quickest in weightlifting proper now, and he or she’s effectively inside putting distance of the World podium this 12 months.
Staff North Korea
The Folks’s Republic of Korea (PRK) final appeared at a World Championships in 2019. Regardless of scrutiny for balking at worldwide drug testing protocols set forth by the IWF, North Korea has submitted a roster for this 12 months’s Worlds and, by the appears of issues, are desiring to make an announcement.
PRK weightlifters rank within the prime three entry Totals in six weight lessons this 12 months. And regardless of a multi-year hiatus from among the greatest weightlifting occasions on the planet, North Korean weightlifters presently maintain 5 Senior world data. Their presence could also be controversial, however their energy is simple.
2023 World Weightlifting Championships | Session Schedule
Right here’s a full breakdown of the schedule for each A-Group session on the 2023 WWC. All instances are listed in Japanese Commonplace Time (EST).
45KG: Sep. Four, 12:00 p.m.
49KG: Sep. 5, 9:30 a.m.
55KG: Sep. 6, 12:00 p.m.
59KG: Sep. eight, 12:00 p.m.
64KG: Sep. 10, 12:00 p.m.
71KG: Sep. 13, 12:00 p.m.
76KG: Sep. 14, 9:30 a.m.
81KG: Sep. 15, 9:30 a.m.
87KG: Sep. 15, 12:00 p.m.
+87KG: Sep. 16, 9:30 a.m.
55KG: Sep. 5, 12:00 p.m.
61KG: Sep. 6, 9:30 a.m.
67KG: Sep. 7, 12:00 p.m.
73KG: Sep. 9, 12:00 p.m.
81KG: Sep. 11, 9:30 a.m.
89KG: Sep. 11, 12:00 p.m.
96KG: Sep. 13, 9:30 a.m.
102KG: Sep. 14, 12:00 p.m.
109KG: Sep. 16, 12:00 p.m.
+109KG: Sep. 17, 9:30 a.m.
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Featured picture: William Johnson / @barbellstories on Instagram