Qualifying Period For Tokyo 2020 Weightlifters Extended Until April 2021

The IOC agreed for all postponed qualifying events to be rescheduled after October 1st.

According to a press release by International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved holding 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying events that had been previously canceled or postponed after October 1st.

The IOC has previously stated that the athletes who have already qualified for the Olympic Games will retain their spots despite the new date of summer 2021. 53% of the qualification quota of the 2020 Olympic Games for weightlifters has been secured.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused for many competitive weightlifting events that would determine the remaining 47% of qualified athletes to be either canceled or postponed.

“As a result, not all weightlifters had the opportunity to fulfill this eligibility requirement.”

However, those events will now take place in a new period added to the qualifying timetable. 


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The Olympic Games qualifying timetable consisted of three 6-month long periods. Weightlifters are required to enter at least six competitions during that 18-month period. Qualifying totals for each athlete consist of the best total from each of the three periods plus the next best total. Athletes with the most points at the completion of that 18-month period receive an invite to compete at the Olympic Games.

The first two 6-month periods were completed before the pandemic mandated stay-at-home orders and the results from events during that time will still count. The new period — period three — will be broken up into two parts. 

Part A

Part A’s schedule ran from November 1, 2019 to April 30 2020. During that time, these events were canceled or postponed:

  • IWF South American Championships
  • IWF Pan American Championships
  • IWF European Championships
  • IWF African Championships
  • IWF Asian Championships
  • IWF Oceania and Commonwealth Championships
  • IWF Junior World Championships

All qualifying events that did happen during this period will still count and athletes with a strong result from part A may still count it towards their qualifying total. However, they are still required enter a competition in part B. Availability for drug testing is also required during this period, even if they do not need the points.

Part B

Assuming proper health and safe travel measures can be provided, Part B will feature the postponed events from part A beginning October 1st, 2020 through April 30st, 2021.

Even with this change to the qualifying timetable, there will not be any new competitions. Only competitions on the original 2020 calendar will be added to part B.

According to the IWF’s press release:

“A total of 56 men and 56 women will qualify on the basis of world ranking points collated by the IWF. A further 35 men and 35 women will qualify on the basis of continental ranking points collated by the IWF. Three men and three women will be granted host country qualifying status. And four men and four women will receive tripartite commission invitations. These elements remain unchanged from the Olympic Qualifying System that was originally approved.”

For reference, the full copy of Olympic qualification for weightlifting is available for review, as is the IWF event calendar.

Feature image from IWF’s Instagram page: @iwfnet