The landscape of Olympic weightlifting remains in flux following the conclusion of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. On Mar. 16, 2022, Egyptian weightlifter Sara Samir Elsayed Mohamed Ahmed took to Instagram to showcase one of her recent lifts — 150 kilograms (330.6 pounds) in the clean & jerk at an unspecified competition.
24-year-old Ahmed, who won a bronze medal in the now-defunct 69-kilogram class at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, has been absent from most major international competitions since 2018 and hasn’t appeared in the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) competitive registry since 2019.
You can check out the lift in question below, and note that Ahmed’s video caption — “I’m back 💪😊” — alludes to her possible intent to return to the weightlifting stage in the near future, though she hasn’t yet announced a specific date for her comeback:
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For context, this 150-kilogram jerk would’ve given Ahmed the gold medal in the clean & jerk at the 2021 World Weightlifting Championships in the 76, 81, and 87-kilogram classes. It’s also six kilograms below the current 76-kilogram world record, set by Zhang Wangli of China in 2019. Ahmed has also hit 150 kilograms in August of 2020, per her Instagram.
According to original reporting by insidethegames, in 2019 the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation (EWF) was barred from participating in IWF competitions for a minimum of two years due to drug-related infractions involving teenage athletes. As a result, the EWF sent no lifters to compete in Tokyo. The article also states that several prominent weightlifters, including Ahmed, tested positive for unspecified banned substances.
The IWF’s athlete sanction database does not corroborate the alleged infraction against Ahmed described by insidethegames.
Sara Ahmed’s Weightlifting Career
Prior to her disappearance from competition — her last major international event being the 2018 World Championships, according to the IWF — Ahmed was a dominant force in the 69- and 71-kilogram categories. She holds several gold medals at the Youth, Junior, and Senior-world level, as well as a Youth Olympics gold in 2014.
At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Ahmed made history as the first Egyptian female athlete to win an Olympic medal when she took bronze.
Sara Ahmed International Accolades
- Youth World Championships — Gold (2013, 2015)
- Junior World Championships — Gold (2015, 2018)
- Olympic Games — Bronze (2016)
- Senior World Championships — Silver (2018)
- Youth Olympic Games — Gold (2014)
- African Games — Gold (2015)
In the wake of the IWF’s Dec. 2021 announcement about the proposed competitive classes for Paris 2024, some prominent weightlifters have begun shifting their plans as they take aim at Olympic glory in 2024. With the Women’s 64- and 76-kilogram classes seemingly off the books for Paris, the dominant players in those categories are likely to participate in the 71-kilogram class throughout the qualification cycle.
Ahmed’s prospective return to competitive weightlifting may threaten many of the existing medalists who have battled to the top of the women’s middleweight classes over the past few years. With a best result of 252 kilograms in the Total as a 71-kilogram athlete, which she hit in 2018, Ahmed is a serious threat to the podium both at the World and Olympic level.
Featured Image: @sarasamir76kg on Instagram