WEIGHTLIFTING Preview: Crucial World Championships start in Ashgabat

Although the International Weightlifting Federation has worked vigorously to change its status as a center of doping, it’s not cleared yet by the International Olympic Committee as a permanent part of future Olympic programs after 2020.

That makes the 2018 IWF World Championships at the Martial Arts Arena in Ashgabat (TKM) another critical step in its path back into the good graces of the IOC … or off the program entirely.

The last two Worlds were held in the U.S., with 585 lifters competing in Houston in 2015, but after nine countries were banned from the 2017 Worlds in Anaheim for doping – Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Turkey, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus and Azerbaijan – the field was reduced to just 315. More than 600 are expected to compete in Ashgabat.

The entries for 2018 show these teams are back from suspensions, some with very limited numbers, but all aware that any doping positives at these Worlds could move the sport out of the Games.

This year’s Worlds format has also changed – as have other sports, like wrestling – with new weight-class definitions. Weightlifting now has 10 classes each for men and women, compared to eight at last year’s Worlds. The top entries according to their “entry total” or projected performance and the 2017 World Champion (and performance):


55 kg:
2017 Champion:
279 kg Kim Tuan Thach (VIE) at 56 kg

2018 top entries:
290 kg Yun Chol Om (PRK)
270 kg Gia Than Lai (VIE)
268 kg Young-Ho Kim (KOR)

61 kg:
2017 Champion:
300 kg Francisco Mosquera (COL) at 62 kg

2018 top entries:
312 kg Francisco Mosquera (COL)
310 kg Fulin Qin (CHN)
310 kg Kim Tuan Thach (VIE)

67 kg:
2017 Champion:
326 kg Jeon-Sik Won (KOR) at 69 kg

2018 top entries:
330 kg Lijun Chen (CHN)
330 kg Doston Yokubov (UKR)
328 kg Mitsunori Konnai (JPN)

73 kg:
2017 Champion:
None; new weight class

2018 top entries:
352 kg Zhiyong Shi (CHN)
348 kg Lyudong Fei (CHN)
345 kg Chong Song Ri (PRK)

81 kg:
2017 Champion:
361 kg Mohamed Ihab (EGY) at 77 kg

2018 top entries:
372 kg Dayin Li (CHN)
370 kg Andranik Karapetyan (ARM)
370 kg Xiaojun Lyu (CHN)
370 kg Yeison Lopez Lopez (COL)
370 kg Mohamed Ihab (EGY)
370 kg Denis Ulanov (KAZ)

89 kg:
2017 Champion:
378 kg Arley Mendez (CHI)

2018 top entries:
380 kg Hakob Mkrtchyan (ARM)
370 kg Karen Avagyan (ARM)
367 kg Jhor Moreno (COL)

96 kg:
2017 Champion:
417 kg Sohrab Moradi (IRI) at 94 kg

2018 top entries:
410 kg Sohrab Moradi (IRI)
400 kg Tao Tian (CHN)
390 kg Reza Beiralvand (IRI)
390 kg Rustam Sybay (KAZ)
390 kg Fares Elbalh (QAT)

102 kg:
2017 Champion:
404 kg Ali Hashemi (IRI) at 105 kg

2018 top entries:
405 kg Ali Hashemi (IRI)
400 kg Ilya Ilyin (KAZ)
400 kg Dmytro Chumak (UKR)

109 kg:
2017 Champion:
None; new weight class

2018 top entries:
440 kg Simon Martirosyan (ARM)
420 kg Ruslan Nurudinov (UZB)
405 kg Zhe Yang (CHN)
405 kg Salwan Abbood (IAQ)
405 kg Arkadiusz Michalski (POL)

+109 kg:
2017 Champion:
477 kg Lasha Talakhadze (GEO) at +105 kg

2018 top entries:
460 kg Lasha Talakhadze (GEO)
445 kg Ruslan Albegov (RUS)
440 kg Gor Minasyan (ARM)
440 kg Fernando Saraiva Reis (BRA)
440 kg Mart Seim (EST)
440 kg Irakli Turmanidze (GEO)
440 kg Rustam Djangabaev (UZB)


45 kg:
2017 Champion:
None; new weight class

∙ 2018 top entries:
180 kg Chiraphan Nanthawong (THA)
180 kg Thunya Sukcharoen (THA)
160 kg Alessandra Pagliaro (ITA)
160 kg Thi Thu Trang Nguyen (VIE)

49 kg:
2017 Champion:
194 kg Mirabal Chanu Salkhom (IND) at 48 kg

2018 top entries:
205 kg Sri Wahyuni Agustiani (INA)
205 kg Song Gum Ri (PRK)
200 kg Zhihui Hou (CHN)
200 kg Huihua Jiang (CHN)

55 kg:
2017 Champion:
210 kg Sopita Tanasan (THA)

2018 top entries:
225 kg Sukanya Srisurat (THA)
223 kg Nouha Landoulsi (TUN)
220 kg Qiuyun Liao (CHN)
220 kg Yajun Li (CHN)
220 kg Wanqiong Zhang (CHN)

59 kg:
2017 Champion:
240 kg Hsing-Chun Kuo (TPE) at 58 kg

2018 top entries:
235 kg Guiming Chen (CHN)
235 kg Hsing-Chun Kuo (TPE)
225 kg Rebeka Koha (LAT)
225 kg Pimsiri Sirikaew (THA)

64 kg:
2017 Champion:
237 kg Loredana Toma (ROU) at 63 kg

2018 top entries:
245 kg Wei Deng (CHN)
245 kg Hyo Sim Kim (PRK)
245 kg Un Sim Rim (PRK)

71 kg:
2017 Champion:
239 kg Leydi Solis (COL) at 69 kg

2018 top entries:
251 kg Wangli Zhang (CHN)
250 kg Sara Ahmed (EGY)
240 kg Mari Sanchez (COL)
240 kg Nadezhda Likhacheva (KAZ)
240 kg Patricia Strenius (SWE)

76 kg:
2017 Champion:
258 kg Lidia Valentin (ESP) at 75 kg

2018 top entries:
260 kg Zhouyu Wang (CHN)
260 kg Jong Sim Rim (PRK)
255 kg Leidy Solis (COL)
255 kg Neisi Dajomes (ECU)

81 kg:
2017 Champion:
None; new weight class

2018 top entries:
224 kg Anna Marie Vanbellinghen (BEL)
220 kg Raushan Meshitkhanova (KAZ)
220 kg Aysoltan Toychyyeva (TKM)

87 kg:
2017 Champion:
265 kg Anastasiia Hotfrid (GEO) at 90 kg

2018 top entries:
260 kg Hui Ao (CHN)
260 kg Un Ju Kim (PRK)
250 kg Tatev Hakobyan (ARM)
250 kg Maria Valdes Paris (CHI)

+87 kg:
2017 Champion:
284 kg Sarah Robles (USA) at +90 kg

2018 top entries:
320 kg Tatiana Kashirina (RUS)
300 kg Suping Meng (CHN)
295 kg Kuk Hyang Kim (PRK)

The U.S. medalists from 2017 all return: Harrison Maurus in the men’s division (bronze at 77 kg), and women’s medal winners Mattie Rogers (bronze at 69 kg) and Robles, the +90 kg champion.The 2016-17-18 World Junior Champion Clarence Cummings, Jr. is entered at 73 kg.

The IWF Worlds will be streamed live on ESPN3. Look for results here.