Yesterday, the weightlifting world was hit with unfortunate news in regards to Iranian Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Sohrab Moradi’s competition readiness. As reported by the Tehran Times, Moradi will be undergoing spinal surgery very soon, which will require a six to nine month recovery period.
This news was first announced by Gholamreza Norouzi, Iran’s Sports Medicine Federation. In the Tehran Times’ news report they state, “Moradi cannot take part at the Fajr Weightlifting Cup and he will also miss 2019 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Ningbo, China. Both competitions will serve as the 2020 Summer Olympics qualifiers. Moradi will likely miss the 2019 World Weightlifting Championships in Pattaya, Thailand in September.”
As for Moradi’s 2020 Olympics hopefulness, Norouzi states in the news report, “He needs to rest at least for between six to nine months but we will try to prepare him for the Olympics qualifications.”
For the weightlifting community, this is huge news. Over the last few years, Moradi has been a commanding force in both the now retired -94kg weight class, and current -96kg weight class. Before the implementation of the new weight classes in July of 2018, Moradi held and still holds every -94kg world record. In November 2018, the new weight classes were implemented for the IWF World Championships, and here Moradi claimed every -96kg world record with an incredible performance.
It’s unclear as to whether or not Moradi will be able to rehab in time to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The new Olympic Qualification System requires athletes to compete six times in the 18-month qualification period set in lead up to the Games.
The Olympics kick off on July 24th, 2020, and the qualification period started on November 1, 2018 and runs through April 30, 2020. This leaves Moradi with a finite window to compete before he loses his 2020 Olympics eligibility.
Feature image from @sohrab.moradiii Instagram page.