TASHKENT, Uzbekistan – The International Weightlifting Federation voted at its Congress, held this week in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, on the bodyweight categories to be contested at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
One year ago, the International Olympic Committee approved a program for Paris 2024 that includes only 10 weightlifting events (five per gender), accounting for 120 total athletes — a drastic cut from the 196 seen in Tokyo (14 events) earlier this year and the 260 entered at both the Rio 2016 and London 2012 Games (15 events each).
Paris will have the fewest Olympic weightlifters since 1956 and fewest weightlifting events since women’s categories were added to the program in 2000.
It was agreed at the IWF Congress the 20 classes (10 per gender) that have been contested at IWF World Championships over the previous Olympic quadrennium will remain in place for worlds held during the 2024 quad, and the Olympic categories were once again selected from those.
Pending approval by the IOC, the bodyweight categories for Paris 2024 are:
Men’s: 61kg, 73kg, 89kg, 102kg, +102kg
Women’s: 49kg, 59kg, 71kg, 81kg, +81kg
The U.S. medaled in seven of the 10 proposed Olympic categories at last month’s Pan American Championship.
“There is no easy way to fairly and safely cut the number of world championship events in half for the Olympic Games, but we are as pleased as we could hope to be with this proposed program,” USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews said. “I appreciate the IWF’s efforts to include the voice of the Athletes' Commission in working towards this challenging but critical decision.”
The proposed qualification system would allow National Olympic Committees to earn up to three Olympic quotas per gender (no more than one per event) for a maximum Olympic weightlifting team size of six, as opposed to the possible eight in Tokyo. The U.S. and China were the only countries to field full teams in Japan, where Kate Nye (76kg; Berkley, Mich.) and Sarah Robles (+87kg; San Jacinto, Calif.) led the U.S. to its highest medal tally in 21 years.
In Tokyo, men competed at 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 81kg, 96kg, 109kg, +109kg, and women at 49kg, 55kg, 59kg, 64kg, 76kg, 87kg, +87kg. The bolded events are ones in which U.S. weightlifters were entered.