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World Weightlifting Championship 2018

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World Weightlifting Championship 2018


The 2018 World Weightlifting Championship came to the end. It was held in AshgabatTurkmenistan from 1 to 10 November 2018.

This was the first World Championship, after the IWF changed their weight categories and nullified all world records. As a results this World Championship showed a total of 86 men’s world records (senior 31) set, and 41 women’s world records set (senior 68). You must agree – impressive figures.

In total, 88 countries and 604 athletes participated in the competition and from almost all of the participants, including the IWF President Dr. Tamas Ajan, we heard positive feedback concerning the highest level of organization of the event. It is both encouraging and reassuring!

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I also would like to mention the excellent quality of online broadcasting: the fantastic images created by the broadcast team, right camera angles and a very convenient visualization of competitions.

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Personally, at that time I was in Brazil, but the distance of half the globe and 7 time zones did not stop me from enjoying the real “iron game” of the best world athletes.

As we know, before the start of this championship there were especially many rumors and discussions, many of which were not confirmed.

First: the competitions were transferred from Turkmenistan to Kazakhstan and back, due to this fact the dates of competitions were somewhat shifted; this caused anxiety between athletes, as every day is important during  preparations for such serious competitions, especially for athletes who need to drop weight before competing.

olympic weightlifting schedule

Second, as I have already mentioned, these were the first competitions in which athletes competed in new weight classes. There was a discussion all the time before this about whether it would benefit weightlifting or not. My opinion: definitely yes.

Let me explain why:

  1. 20 people became world champions, previously there were 15. 180 medals were awarded in total (snatch, clean&jerk and total) which were received by representatives of 30 countries of the world.
  2. Most athletes moved to heavier weight categories, which gave them the opportunity to get better results.
  3. Adding 3 more women’s weight categories allowed them to claim more medals and placed them in equal position with men. This will certainly contribute to the further development of weightlifting among women.

Third: we remember that only seven (7) categories of 10 were also approved for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Perhaps, therefore, the majority of senior world records were awarded exactly in these categories. I am very interested in how this will affect the results of the competitions next year.

Further changes in Olympic categories may not be excluded in the future, following the example of Rhythmic gymnastics, where every Olympic cycle the Federation excludes one of the categories from the Olympic program. But this is just my guess.

Very challenging was the return of disqualified teams. China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus competed at the highest level. China won a total of 53 medals out of 180 (almost 30%), this happened first time in history of weightlifting. It deserves our highest admiration.

 TOP 6 men's teams

TOP 6 women’s teams:

  1. China
  2. Thailand
  3. Kazakhstan
  4. Russia
  5. United States
  6. Mexico

TOP 6 men’s teams:

  1. China
  2. Belarus
  3. Iran
  4. Russia
  5. Georgia
  6. Korea

In my opinion, one of the factors that could actually affect the results of the 2018 World Championship was EWF JUNIOR&U23 WEIGHTLIFTING CHAMPIONSHIPS which took place in Poland 10 days earlier. Obviously, this inconsistency in time was associated with the possible change in 2018 World Championship timetable. As we understand, 10 days is not a sufficient period of time between international competitions and therefore many athletes had to prioritize and choose only one of the competitions.

I also would like to share interesting facts about the World Weightlifting Championship 2018 which I found on official website

  • Deng Wei (CHN) won her ninth, 10th and 11th world title, becoming the seventh Chinese woman with at least 11 weightlifting gold medals at the world championships.
  • China has now won 12 world titles in Ashgabat, surpassing Thailand (9) for most at these world championships.
  • Lidia Valentin Perez (ESP) won the gold medal in the Snatch and the Total. She was already the only Spanish weightlifter to have won world titles.
  • Kashirina has now won 15 world titles in weightlifting to become the most successful woman at the world championships. Women and men combined, Tatiana Kashirina’s 15 world titles are joint-sixth on the all-time list. Only Vasili Alexeev (URS, 22 world titles), Naim Süleymanoglu (BUL/TUR, 22), Yurik Vardanyan (URS, 20), David Rigert (URS, 17) and Halil Mutlu (TUR, 16) have won more titles
  • Teerapat Chomchuen (THA) claimed bronze at age 17 years and 94 days in the Clean & Jerk and became the youngest Thai to win a weightlifting medal at the world championships. He became the youngest man with a medal in the competition since Szymon Kolecki (POL) took bronze in the men’s 94kg Clean & Jerk in 1998.
  • Mohamed Ihab Youssef Ahmed Mahmoud (EGY) won three medals, including gold in the Snatch. He has now won 11 total medals. Mahmoud already had the most medals among Egyptian weightlifters.
  • Lyu Xiaojun (CHN) claimed silver in the Snatch and Clean & Jerk and won the Total. He has now finished on the podium 16 times at the world championships. He set the Chinese record of most medals.
  • I am so happy that Dmytro Chumack (UKR) claimed bronze in the Snatch, silver in the Clean & Jerk and silver in the Total. The only male weightlifter from Ukraine in the last 15 years to claim three medals at a single world championships was Artem Udachin (three silver medals) in the +105kg in 2009.
  • It’s a pity that Ilya Ilyin couldn’t get on the platform because of the injury. I think his performance was highly awaited even more than the entire World Championships.
  • Simon Martirosyan demonstrated an impressive performance and was the first with the total result (435 kg). He performed overwhelmingly in clean and jerk, lifted 240 kg and won the gold medal.

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The last competition at the Championships was held in 109+kg weight category.

As it was expected, the weightlifter from Georgia Lasha Talakhadze (217 kg) became the gold medalist in snatch performance. At the same time, he set the new senior world record. The total result Lasha Talakhadze (474 kg) became the unprecedented. He has set the new world record of all time. 

Thus, the World Championships held in Ashgabat are successfully finished. New world records made these Championships unforgettable.

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Sergii Putsov

Author: Sergii Putsov
Head of Sport Science, PhD

Experience: 20 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 165 kg,
C&J – 200 kg

Sergii Putsov, Ph.D., is a former professional weightlifter and National team member, achieving multiple medals in the 94 kg weight category at national competitions. With a Master’s degree in “Olympic & Professional Sport Training” and a Sport Science Ph.D. from the International Olympic Academy, Greece, Sergii now leads as the Head of Sport Science. He specializes in designing training programs, writing insightful blog articles, providing live commentary at international weightlifting events, and conducting educational seminars worldwide alongside Olympic weightlifting expert Oleksiy Torokhtiy.

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