Earlier today, news broke that Iranian superheavyweight weightlifter Saeid Alihosseini would not be attending the 2018 IWF World Championships. The Iranian news outlet The Tehran Times reported that Alihosseini would be withdrawing due to injury.
In terms of injury specifics, details are still scarce on the topic, but there has been some speculation that it’s in reference to Alihosseini’s knee, which has caused the athlete problems in the past. After last year’s IWF World Championships, Alihosseini underwent knee surgery to repair his meniscus in late December.
This withdrawal comes as big news for the Iranian weightlifting team and fans, as Alihosseini’s teammate, fellow superheavyweight competitor Behdad Salimi recently announced his retirement from weightlifting after the 2018 Asian Games. After Salimi’s retirement and Alihosseini’s withdrawal, the Iranian weightlifting team’s roster is down multiple members heading into the 2018 IWF World Championships.
In part of Iran Weightlifting’s post on Instagram they write (which has been loosely translated through the Instagram app),
“Some of the unwanted people were separated from the team, Behdad Salimi said goodbye, and Kianoush Rostami was removed from the team. Also, Ayub Mousavi and Ali Miri were not present in the camp of this stage and finally Saied Alihosseini announced after a few days injuries and that’s why he was separated from the national team camp and in the world championships he will not be present.”
This news leaves a lot of speculation as to who will be formally competing for the Iranian weightlifting team at the World Championships. In the Instagram post’s description further down towards the bottom there are three names of athletes who are still confirmed as attending: Sohrab Moradi, Ali Hashemi, and Mohammadreza Barari.
A few months ago, Alihosseini competed at the 2018 Asian Games and took home second behind Salimi with a strong 454kg total. With this recent announcement, it’s going to be interesting to see which superheavyweight athletes will be able to push Lasha Talakhadze at this year’s World Championships.
Feature image from @iran_weightliting Instagram page.