— Published 25 May 2022

Eleven candidates for the presidential seat


Its Olympic future is now written in dotted lines, but weightlifting is attracting interest. No less than eleven candidates have been validated for the election to the presidency of its international federation (IWF), scheduled for next month during the annual congress in Tirana (25 and 26 June). Among them, two Americans, but also two former members of the executive committee of the body. The list of candidates to succeed Hungarian Tamas Ajan, who was pushed out on corruption charges, includes Yousef Al-Mana (Qatar), Karoliina Lundahl (Finland), Zhanat Tussupbekov (Kazakhstan), Pyrros Dimas (Greece), Mohamed Jalood (Iraq), Ursula Papandrea (United States), Paula Aranda (United States), Antonio Urso (Italy), Jinqiang Zhou (China), Ali Moradi (Iran) and Tom Liaw (Singapore). A twelfth candidate, Maxim Agapitov of Russia, could join the pack of candidates. Declared ineligible because of his Russian citizenship, he has appealed to the CAS. Mike Irani of Great Britain, who is currently acting as interim president of the IWF, did not submit a candidature. The election to the presidency of the body promises to be decisive for the Olympic future of weightlifting, which has been temporarily excluded from the Los Angeles Games in 2028. The IOC has made no secret of the fact that the choice of the new governance of the IWF will have a decisive impact on its decision whether or not to reinstate the discipline in the Olympic programme after the Paris 2024 Games.