IWF President Mohamed Jalood has praised the outstanding weightlifting competitions at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games which showcased the sport’s athletic prowess, universality, thrilling entertainment and global appeal.
The weightlifting competition took place between 30 July and 3 August and saw elite weightlifters compete across 16 weight categories – eight male and eight female. A total of 178 weightlifters from 38 nations qualified via the Athlete Allocation System, including ex-refugee Olympic athlete Cyrille Tchatchet who competed for Team England. Of the participating nations, 15 countries from all five Continents won medals reflecting the universality of the sport. In addition, eight weightlifters from four continents were selected as their country’s flagbearers at the Games’ Opening Ceremony including Home Nation, England’s Olympic Silver Medallist Emily Campbell.
Birmingham 2022 implemented innovative sports presentation and fan engagement strategies to create an exceptional atmosphere which drew praise from many athletes. The competition also showcased the sport’s commitment to gender representation with a 50:50 gender split on technical officials.
IWF President Jalood was in England to attend the weightlifting competition, alongside General Secretary Antonio Urso and seven other IWF Executive Board members.
Speaking following the conclusion of the Games, President Jalood said:
“The competitions at Birmingham 2022 were a great success and showcased the very best of our sport. Weightlifters from every continent won medals which demonstrates just how strong weightlifting is around the world. At the IWF we are committed to ensuring that the sport continues to develop globally and provide our athletes with the opportunity to compete in fair and clean competitions.”
Among the weightlifters to grace the podium in Birmingham were: India’s Commonwealth Games defending champion and Olympic silver medallist Chanu Saikhom Mirabai who won gold in the women’s 49kg. Maude G Charron, defending Commonwealth Games champion and Tokyo 2020 gold medallist who won gold in the women’s 64kg. Australia’s defending Commonwealth Games Champion Eileen Cikamatana who claimed gold in the women’s 87kg. England’s Olympic silver medallist Emily Campbell who won gold in the women’s 87+kg. And, defending Commonwealth Games champion Aznil Bin Bidin Muhamad of Malaysia who retained his title in the men’s 61kg.
Commonwealth Weightlifting Federation General Secretary Paul Coffa said:
“Birmingham 2022 was an incredible advert for weightlifting in Commonwealth nations. The standard of competition was exceptional with many of the world’s best weightlifters taking part. Fans were treated to thrilling competitions and incredible athletic performances and with 15 different countries winning medals there was plenty to celebrate.”
IWF Athletes’ Commission Chair Forrester Christopher Osei, who competed at Birmingham 2022, added:
“There is no doubt that Birmingham 2022 was one of the best weightlifting competitions I, and many of the athletes I spoke to, have been a part of. The stage for competing was impressive and the way the audience was engaged created an unforgettable atmosphere. It is an exciting time for weightlifting and Birmingham 2022 reinforced that there are creative ways we can enhance the sport and better connect the athletes and fans.”
Weightlifting was first added to the Commonwealth Games programme in 1950 and has featured as a medal sport at every Games since.