By Jean Malanum
MANILA – The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and the Thai Amateur Weightlifting Federation have signed the hosting agreement for the 2024 IWF World Cup to be held in Phuket from April 2 to 11.
The World Cup is the last qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
It is also one of the two compulsory competitions for all lifters seeking Olympic berths. The other is the IWF World Championships which will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on September 2 to 17.
Two Filipinos — 32-year-old Hidilyn Diaz of Zamboanga City and 24-year-old Elreen Ann Ando of Cebu City — are eyeing Paris slots in the women’s 59-kilogram (kg) category.
Diaz was a silver medalist at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 53kg and produced the country’s first gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, ruling the 55kg.
The 55kg has been scrapped from the Paris lineup.
Diaz has not yet qualified for Paris, failing in her latest attempt in Jinju, South Korea where she placed fourth in the Asian Weightlifting Championships on May 7.
Ando did not make the podium in Tokyo in the 64kg category.
“We had very encouraging and positive discussions with the hosts of the World Cup in Phuket and I am pretty confident that the Thai Amateur Weightlifting Federation will do its utmost to welcome in the best possible conditions our athletes, coaches and officials,” IWF secretary general Antonio Urso said in a news release on Saturday.
Following the IWF rules, lifters eyeing Paris 2024 slots must join at least three of five qualifiers, namely the 2022 IWF World Championships (Bogotá, Colombia in December), 2023 Continental Championships (Pan America in Bariloche, Argentina, March 25-April 2; Europe in Yerevan, Armenia, April 15-23; Asia in Jinju, South Korea, May 3-13; Africa in Tunis, Tunisia, May 11-20; Oceania at Pacific Games in Honiara, Solomon Islands, Nov. 20-24), 2023 IWF Grand Prix I (Havana, Cuba, June 2-12), 2023 IWF Grand Prix II (Doha, Qatar, Dec. 1-17), and 2024 Continental Championships (January and February).
The weight categories for women are 49kg, 59kg, 71kg, 81kg and over-81kg, while for men are 61kg, 73kg, 89kg, 102kg and over-102kg.
The qualifying period will end on July 26, 2024.
There are 120 quota places in Paris 2024. The top 10 in each weight category based on the ranking list compiled during the qualifying will earn the trip to Paris along with the 20 coming from the host country and 10 continental representations where a continental federation may be given a place for its highest-placed athlete outside the top 10. (PNA)