Kazakhstan Announces Rio Olympic Weightlifting Team

Doping retests have dramatically altered the weightlifting field heading into Rio, and with several Olympic champions testing positive from Beijing and London retests, Kazakhstan was among the nations most affected. While the Kazakh national team faces a one-year ban from international competition after the Rio Olympics, the IWF has also reallocated two of their originally earned 10 Rio spots to other countries.

With lifters Ilya Ilyin, Maiya Maneza, Zulfiya Chinshanlo, and Svetlana Podobedova provisionally suspended, it was unclear even a few weeks ago what the Kazakh squad might look like heading into Rio.

Now, Sports.KZ is reporting that the eight-person team has been finalized. The team features some familiar names and recent international competition champions, along with some others Western fans may be less familiar with. They are:

Margarita Yeliseyeva (48 kg) – 6th at 2015 World Championships in 53kg class
Karina Goricheva (63 kg) – 5th at 2015 World Championships
Zhazira Zhapparkul (69 kg) – 2nd at 2015 World Championships, 2012 Jr World Champion, 2010 Youth Olympic Champion

Arli Chontey (56 kg) – Silver medal in snatch (132KG) at 2015 Worlds (bombed clean & jerk)
Farkhad Harki (62 kg) – 12th at 2015 World Championships in 69kg class
Nijat Rahimov (77 kg) – 2015 World Champion, 2010 Youth Olympic Champion
Denis Ulanov (85 kg) – 2016 Asian Champion
Alexandr Zaichikov (105 kg) – 2015 World Champion

A photo posted by @ulanov_denis_1993 on

Special thanks to Mike Graber for contributing to this report.