The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) announced on its Instagram page on June 30, 2023, that raw powerlifting will feature in the next edition of The World Games, held in Chengdu, China, on Aug. 7-17, 2025.
The World Games is a multi-sport event, featuring non-Olympic sports such as sumo wrestling, kickboxing, and racquetball. The competition has been held every four years since 1981, and equipped powerlifting has been at its heart since the very first edition in Santa Clara, USA.
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The 2021 World Games were postponed due to a conflict with the re-scheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The 11th World Games eventually took place in July 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama. That event included 3,457 athletes from 99 nations taking part in 34 different sports, and 26,000 spectators attended the Opening Ceremony.
In every edition of The World Games so far, the IPF has fielded an equipped-only format. However, that will change in 2025 as raw powerlifting will debut on the program.
World Games Powerlifting Format
Powerlifting at The World Games has a slightly unusual format. Instead of the usual eight weight women’s categories and eight men’s categories, there are only four weight categories each. Within each, athletes will be scored on IPF GL points*, and medals will be awarded on that basis. The categories are comprised as follows:
*Note: The GL point formula is an attempt to compare the achievements of lifters of different body weights and is used by the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) and its affiliates.
2025 World Games Powerlifting Weight Categories
- Women’s 47KG
- Women’s 52KG
- Men’s 59KG
- Men’s 66KG
- Women’s 57KG
- Women’s 63KG
- Men’s 74KG
- Men’s 83KG
- Women’s 69KG
- Women’s 76KG
- Men’s 93KG
- Men’s 105KG
- Super Heavyweight
- Women’s 84KG
- Women’s +84KG
- Men’s 120KG
- Men’s +120KG
At the previous World Games, there were 12 athletes per weight class. However, with the doubling of the format to include raw powerlifting, that quota will be reduced to eight athletes. This increases the total number of competitors from 96 to 128.
2025 World Games Qualifiers
Athletes will need to compete at the corresponding World Championships to qualify for the 2025 World Games:
- Raw Powerlifting — 2024 IPF Classic World Championships in Lithuania
- Equipped Powerlifting — 2024 IPF Equipped World Championships in Iceland
The IPF has not yet announced the full selection details for this event. In the past, athletes needed to place in the top three of their respective weight classes at the World Championships to qualify for the World Games.
Featured image: @theipf on Instagram