The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Weightlifting Championships gets underway in Pattaya, Thailand on September 18th, and on Wednesday the IWF released the entry list for the competition.
The entry list showed record-setting numbers, including a total of 734 athletes from 105 nations. Out of those athletes, 339 women are set to compete alongside 395 men. The IWF noted in their press release that this number of women competitors shows a major step towards achieving gender equality in weightlifting.
“Women athletes have been leading the way when it comes to challenging stereotypes about the perceived role of women in society,” IWF President Tamas Ajan said in the press release. “We are very proud that women weightlifters should be playing such a prominent part among those athletes. Women weightlifters have done much to dispel the myth of a single ideal body size and type. Weightlifting is a sport that enables all men and women to develop and show their strength.”
This number of female weightlifters participating is a promising sign ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where gender equality is at the forefront. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the number of male and female weightlifters will be equal for the first time ever in Olympic history.
According to the IWF, there are some countries that include more women athletes than men. Some of these teams with more women representing them include Brazil, Denmark, Great Britain, and Ecuador. Also for the first time Iran and Iraq will have women competing at the IWF World Championships. For context, in 2017, the Iranian Weightlifting Federation announced that women weightlifters from the country could officially compete in the sport, and now two years later Iranian female weightlifters will make history at the IWF Worlds.
The 2019 IWF Worlds run through September 27th, and compared to last year’s 693 athletes from 91 countries, this year’s entry list is showing major growth in weightlifting from a global perspective.
We’re excited to see some of the world’s best weightlifters take the platform in a couple short weeks and further their shot at making that final roster for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Featured image from @iwfnet Instagram page.