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European Weightlifting Championship 2024: Top Athletes’ Review & Predictions

Sofia will host the Senior European Weightlifting Championship held from the 12th to the 20th of February. This time the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation received the right to arrange the most important continental competition, which is also the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualification Event. 

Indeed, Bulgaria will attract an immense audience for such a prestigious event in the weightlifting world. Moreover, it has one of the greatest athletes, Karlos Nasar, who has set world records as a teenager. He is considered to be a strong medal contender in the 89-kg weight division. So, there won’t be an issue for him to qualify for Paris.

The best weightlifters in Europe will compete for the continental title and also to get a spot in the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. By the way, the US team will also participate in this competition: the IWF Executive Board approved USA Weightlifting’s participation in the 2024 European Championship in Sofia.

Let’s observe shortly who we’ll succeed in watching at this competition, and assess their chances and rivalry rate among the top world athletes.

Mihaela Cambei

Preliminary Women’s Entry List:

Women’s up to 45 kg

Bektas Cansu (TUR) / entry total – 170 kg 

She’s a three-time European champion and European Youth and Juniors record holder. At the European Championship in Yerevan, she took three golds in Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and total, by beating European records for Juniors with 72 kg in Snatch, 90 kg in Clean & Jerk, and 162 kg in total. At the Worlds in Riyadh, she secured total bronze.

Country: Turkey
Age: 20 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cansubektas/

Medal Record: 

European Championship:

  • Gold – 2023, Yerevan

World Championship:

  • Bronze – 2023, Riyadh

World Junior Championship:

  • Gold – 2023, Guadalajara

Best Results: 72-90-162 (European Junior Record), 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 75 kg, C&J – 90 kg, Total – 162 kg

Expectations:  It’s possible that she would take a medal in the category.

NGUEN Nadezhda (BUL) / entry total – 160 kg

She took the gold medal at the 2021 European Championship and clinched silver at the 2021 European Junior & U23 Champs in Finland.

Country: Bulgaria
Age: 23 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nadezhda.nguen/ 

Medal Record: 

European Championship:

  • Gold – 2021, Moscow

European Junior & U23 Championship:

  • Silver – 2021, Durres

Best Results: 72-85-157, 2021, European Junior & U23 Weightlifting Championship,  Rovaniemi

Personal best: Snatch – 72 kg, C&J – 85 kg, Total – 157 kg

Expectations: There are high expectations that she will clinch a winning spot in her weight class considering her prior accomplishments.

Women’s up to 49 kg

DELACRUZ Jourdan (USA) / entry total – 200 kg

She is a bronze medalist at the World Championship and a four-time medalist, including three gold medals, at the Pan Ams. In 2021 she represented the United States at the Olympics in Tokyo. At the World Championship in Riyadh, she took bronze in and then won the gold medal at the Pan Am Championship in Bariloche, Argentina.

Country: USA
Age:  25 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jourdannn_14

Medal Record: 

World Cup:

  • Gold – 2020, Rome 

Pan American Championships:

  • Gold – 2019, 2020, 2023 (Guatemala City, Santo Domingo, Bariloche)
  • Silver – 2022, Bogota 

World Championship:

  • Bronze – 2023, Riyadh

Best Results: 91-116-207, 2019, Pan American Championship, Guatemala City

Personal best: Snatch – 75 kg, C&J – 90 kg, Total – 162 kg

Expectations: We place high expectations on Jourdan’s leading positions in the weight class and her success in getting bronze.

REICHARDT Hayley (USA) / entry total – 197 kg

is a four-time medalist, including two gold and two silver medals at the Pan American Championship. Reichardt took silver at the 2023 Pan Ams in Bariloche: she won silver in the Snatch and Clean & Jerk sessions.

Country: USA
Age: 24 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hayleyreichardt/

Medal Record: 

Pan American Championships:

  • Gold – 2021, Guayaquil
  • Gold – 2022, Bogota 
  • Silver – 2020, Santo Domingo
  • Silver – 2023, Bariloche

Junior World Championship:

  • Bronze – 2019, Suva

Best Results: 86-111-197, 2023, Pan American Championship, Bariloche)

Personal best: Snatch – 86 kg, C&J – 111 kg, Total – 197 kg

Expectations: Considering her previous performances, she’s likely to get to the top 5 female weightlifters in her weight division.

IMPERIO Giulia (ITA) / entry total – 195 kg

is a young promising weightlifter who distinguishes herself from other female athletes due to her petite stature and attractive appearance. Due to her power and vitality, she’s already shown good accomplishments. She’s a two-time gold medalist of the Mediterranean Games, gold medalist of the European Championship in Tirana, and the European silver medalist in Yerevan.

However, her two last performances at the Worlds in Riyadh and Grand Prix II in Qatar were weak compared to her prior results. She ranked 11th in total in Saudi Arabia finished 6th in the Snatch session and even didn’t get into the Top 10 in Clean & Jerk.

Country: Italy 
Age:  22 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/giuliaimperioo/ 

Medal Record: 

European Championships:

  • Gold – 2022, Tirana
  • Silver – 2023, Yerevan

Mediterranean Games:

  • Gold – 2022, Oran

Best Results: 85-98-183, 2023 World Championship, Riyadh

Personal best: Snatch – 85 kg, C&J – 101 kg, Total – 183 kg

Expectations: Her last performances were not the best in her career, i.e., at the Worlds in Saudi Arabia and Grand Prix II in Qatar. So, we hope she’ll manage to get to the top 10 this time.

CAMBEI Mihaela Valentina (ROU) / entry total – 180 kg

Is a three-time gold medalist at the European Youth Championship who won the gold medal at the 2023 European Championship in Yerevan and bronze at the same-level competition in 2021.

What about her performances at the World Championship, she didn’t succeed in winning a medal in total. However, she managed to secure medals in the single exercises. At the Worlds in Bogota, she took silver in Snatch but finished fourth in totals. In Riyadh, Cambei clinched bronze in Snatch as well and became fifth overall.

Country: Romania 
Age: 21 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cmv.valentina18/

Medal Record: 

European Championships:

  • Gold – 2023, Yerevan
  • Bronze – 2021, Moscow

Junior World Championship:

  • Silver – 2021, Tashkent

European Youth Championship:

  • Gold – 2017 Pristina,
  • 2018 San Donato Milanese
  • 2019 Eilat

Best Results: 92-106-198, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 92 kg, C&J – 106 kg, Total – 198 kg

Expectations: Cambei Michaela will likely get to the top 5 in her weight class.

Women’s up to 55 kg

GRIGORYAN Aleksandra (ARM) / entry total – 205 kg

At the Senior World Championship in Riyadh, Grigoryan made only two good lifts and finished seventh which made her dig deep for further victory. She was fifth at halfway after missing her third attempt. At the World Junior Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico, she took gold in Clean & Jerk and total. Thus, she managed to prove her power and supremacy in the 55-kg weight division.

Country: Armenia 
Age: 19 y.o.

Medal Record: 

World Junior Championship:

  • Gold – 2023, Guadalajara

European Youth Championship:

  • Gold – 2022, Raszyn

Best Results:  81-107-188, 2023, World Youth Championship, Guadalajara

Personal best: Snatch – 81 kg, C&J – 107 kg, Total – 188 kg

Expectations: This promising female weightlifter has a chance to get a winning place in the category.

Photo by @iwf.sport

YAYLYAN Izabella (ARM) / entry total – 205 kg

She took three bronze medals in the 55-kg event at the 2023 European Championship in Yerevan. Earlier, in 2021, she participated in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo where she finished seventh in the 59-kg weight class.

Country: Armenia 
Age: 29 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/izabellayaylyan/ 

Medal Record: 

European Championship:

  • Bronze – 2023, Yerevan

European Junior & U23 Weightlifting Championships:

  • Gold – 2014, Limassol
  • Gold – 2015, Klaipeda
  • Bronze – 2017, Durrës

Best Results:  87-109-196, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan 

Personal best: Snatch – 89 kg, C&J – 102 kg, Total – 201 kg

Expectations: We suppose that she would finish third, or at least would get into the top 5 in her weight class.

Women’s up to 59 kg

KONOTOP Kamila (UKR) / entry total – 230 kg

won the silver medal at the 2023 World Championship in Riyadh. She is a three-time medalist, including two gold medals at the European Championship.

Country: Ukraine
Age: 22 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/__konotop__/ 

Medal Record: 

World Championship:

  • Silver – 2023, Riyadh, 2023

European Championships:

  • Gold – 2021, Moscow
  • Gold – 2023, Yerevan
  • Silver – 2022, Tirana

Junior World Championship:

  • Gold – 2021, Tashkent

Qatar Cup:

  • Silver – 2019, Doha

IWF World Cup:

  • Silver – 2020, Rome

Best Results: 106-130-236, 2023 World Championship, Riyadh

Personal best: Snatch – 106 kg, C&J – 130 kg, Total – 236 kg

Expectations: We suppose that Kamila Konotop will take another decent spot in her category by showing competitive results.

MAGISTRIS Lucrezia (ITA) / entry total – 225 kg

She is a gold and silver medalist of the Mediterranean Games who won a silver medal at the 2022 European Championship in Tirana. At the Grand Prix II in Qatar, she improved her best total by 10 kg by rising from 19th to 12th position.

Country: Italy
Age: 24 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lucreziamagistris/ 

Medal Record: 

  • European Championship: Silver – 2022, Tirana
  • Mediterranean Games: Gold – 2022, Oran

Best Results:  98-114-212, 2022 European Championship, Tirana

Personal best: Snatch – 75 kg, C&J – 90 kg, Total – 162 kg

Expectations: Magistris can show good results and get to the top 5 lifters in her weight class.

WILKINS Taylor (USA) / entry total – 221 kg

She set three new American records in the 59-kilogram class to a third-place overall finish at the Pan Ams in Santo Domingo with results 95-122-217 with all perfect six for six attempts. At the Worlds in Riyadh Wilkins finished tenth.

Country: USA
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taylortwilkins/ 

Best Results:  95(Current American Record)-122-(Current American Record)-217-(Current American Record),  2020 Pan American Championship, Santa Domingo

Personal best: Snatch – 98 kg, C&J – 122 kg, Total – 220 kg

Expectations: We can’t confirm that Wilkins would show us impressive lifts, however we suppose that she would manage to get to the best ten athletes in the weight class.

STERCKX Nina (BEL) / entry total – 220 kg

She is a three-time medalist at the European Championships who took 5th place at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. In Yerevan, she showed impressive results by clinching silver in all exercises. At the Worlds in Riyadh, she ranked ninth by showing one of the best results, but it wasn’t enough to move up higher in the list.

Country: Belgium
Age: 21 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nina.sterckx/ 

Medal Record: 

  • European Championships: Silver – 2023, Yerevan; Bronze – 2021, Moscow; Bronze – 2022, Tirana
  • Junior World Championships: Gold – 2022, Heraklion; Silver – 2021, Tashkent
  • European Junior & U23 Championships: Gold – 2019, Bucharest; Gold – 2022, Durrës

Best Results: 99-121-220, 2023 World Championship, Riyadh

Personal best: Snatch – 99 kg, C&J – 121 kg, Total – 220 kg

Expectations: Assessing her prior successful performances, Sterckx can gain some fruitful results at this Championship.

Women’s up to 64 kg

SAMULIAK Svitlana (UKR) / entry total – 225 kg

Is a bronze medalist at the World Championship in Tashkent; and a silver medalist at the Europeans in Yerevan, but failed to take a top spot at the Worlds in Riyadh.

Country: Ukraine 
Age: 20 y.o.

Medal Record: 

  • World Championship: Bronze – 2021, Tashkent
  • European Championship: Silver – 2023, Yerevan
  • Junior World Championships: Gold – 2023, Guadalajara; Silver – 2022, Heraklion

Best Results:  91-110-201, 2021 World Championship, Tashkent

Personal best: Snatch – 93 kg, C&J – 110 kg, Total – 201 kg

Expectations: At least, she would be enlisted in the top 6 athletes in her weight class, or, in the good case, she would get a leading position.

Svitlana Samuliak

IVZHENKO Olha (UKR) / entry total – 220 kg

a gold medalist at the European Junior Championship in Albania, and a bronze medalist at the World Junior Champs in Guadalajara.

Country: Ukraine
Age: 21 y.o.

Medal Record: 

World Youth Championship: Gold – 2022, Durres

Best Results:  91-107-198, 2022 World Youth Championship, Durres

Personal best: Snatch – 97 kg, C&J – 115 kg, Total – 208 kg

IVZHENKO Olha

Women’s up to 71 kg

REEVES Olivia (USA) / entry total – 253 kg

the bronze medalist at the 2023 World Championship in Riyadh; and gold medalist at the Pan Am Games in Santiago in the 81-kg weight class. At the Pan American Championship in Bariloche, Reeves became third in the weight division. At the Grand Prix II in Doha set three new Junior world records: 115 kg in Snatch, 147 kg in Clean & Jerk, and 262 kg in total.

Country: USA
Age: 20 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oliviareeves.71

Medal Record: 

  • World Championships: Bronze – 2023, Riyadh
  • Pan American Games: Gold – 2023, Santiago
  • Pan American Championship: Bronze – 2023, Bariloche
  • Junior World Championships: Gold – 2021, TashkentSilver – 2022, Heraklion

Best Results:  114-144-258, 2023 Pan American Games, Santiago

Personal best:  Snatch – 114 kg, C&J – 144 kg, Total – 258 kg

Expectations: Taking into account her previous performance at the Grand Prix II, Reeves can get the leading position and probably set another record in the weight class.

VIBERT Katherine (USA) / entry total – 248 kg

a silver medalist of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, 2019 World Champion, two-time gold medalist and two-time silver medalist at the Pan American Championships, and Junior World Champion.

Country: USA
Age: 25 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katevibert/ 

Medal Record: 

  • Olympic Games: Silver – 2020, Tokyo
  • World Championship: Gold – 2019, Pattaya
  • Pan American Championships: Gold – 2019, Guatemalal; Gold – 2021, Guayaquil; Silver – 2020, Santo Domingo; Silver – 2023, Bariloche

Best Results: 11-138-249, 2020 Olympic Games, Tokyo

Personal best: Snatch – 112 kg, C&J – 138 kg, Total – 249 kg

Expectations: Vibert is another prospective athlete in the American weightlifting team who has a great chance to take a win-win position in the next competition.

TOMA Loredana Elena (ROU) / entry total – 240 kg

A two-time gold and two-time bronze World Champion and five-time European Champion.

Country: Romania 
Age: 28 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tomaloredanaelena/ 

Medal Record: 

  • World Championships: Bronze – 2019, Pattaya; Gold – 2022, Bogota
  • European Championships: Silver – 2013, Tirana; Gold  – 2019, Batumi; Gold – 2021, Moscow; Gold – 2023, Yerevan

Best Results:  119-137-256, 2022 World Championship, Bogota

Personal best: Snatch – 119 kg (CWR), C&J – 137 kg, Total – 256 kg

Expectations: She’s believed to be one of the most competitive lifters in the category who can get a medal.

MISERENDINO Giulia (ITA) / entry total – 240 kg

at the 2023 European Championship in Yerevan, she won silver. However, at the World Championship in Riyadh, she finished thirteenth, being defeated by over more powerful contenders in the division.

Country: Italy
Age: 21 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/giulia_miserendino

Medal Record: 

  • European Championship: Silver – Yerevan,  2023

Best Results: 105-125-230 (2023 European Championship, Yerevan)

Personal best: Snatch – 105 kg, C&J – 125 kg, Total – 230 kg

Expectations: Despite being a promising athlete in the Italian weightlifting team, Miserensino showed quite weak results at the prior competitions. So, we hope she’ll manage to get into the top 10 athletes in her weight division.

Women’s up to 76 kg

ALWINE Meredith (USA) / entry total – 238 kg

is a gold medalist at the 2021 World Championship in Tashkent; she is also a three-time gold and bronze medalist at the Pan American Championships.

Country: USA
Age: 25 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meredithalwine

Medal Record: 

  • World Championships: Gold – 2021, Tashkent
  • Pan American Games: Bronze – 2023, Santiago
  • Pan American Championships: Gold – 2020, Santo Domingo; Gold – 2021, Guayaquil; Gold – 2023, Bariloche; Bronze – 2022, Bogota

Best Results: 103-135-238, 2020 Pan American Championship, Santo Domingo

Personal best: Snatch – 104 kg, C&J – 136 kg, Total – 238 kg

Expectations:Considering her performances at the Pan Ams, Meredith Alwine can get at least third place and bring her team several bronze medals.

FEGUE Marie Josephe (FRA) entry total – 235 kg

is a two-time gold medalist at the European Championships and also a gold and bronze medalist at the Commonwealth Games representing Cameroon.

Country: France
Age: 32 y.o.

Medal Record: 

  • European Championships: Gold – 2022, Tirana; Gold – 2023, Yerevan
  • Commonwealth Games: Gold – 2014, Glasgow; Bronze – 2010, Delhi

Best Results:  113-140-253, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 113 kg, C&J – 140 kg, Total – 253 kg

Expectations: Knowing the competition rate at this championship in Sofia, Marie Fegue should push herself harder to gain a worthy spot in the weight category.

FEGUE Marie Josephe
Photo by @ffhaltero.fr

Women’s up to 81 kg

ROGERS Martha (USA) / entry total – 252 kg

Also known as “Mattie” Rogers, is a four-time silver medalist at the World Championships. She holds the US record in the Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and total in the 76-kg weight category. She’s also a two-time gold and five-time bronze medalist at the Pan American Championships.

Country: USA
Age: 28 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mattierogersoly/ 

Medal Record: 

  • World Championships: Silver – 2017, Anaheim; Silver  – 2019, Pattaya; Silver – 2021, Tashkent; Silver – 2022, Bogota
  • Pan American Championships: Gold – 2020, Santo Domingo; Gold – 2022, Bogota; Silver – 2018, Santo Domingo; Silver – 2019, Guatemala City; Silver – 2021, Guayaquil

Best Results: 112-143-255, 2021 USA Weightlifting National Championship, Detroit

Personal best: Snatch – 112 kg, C&J – 143 kg, Total – 255 kg 

Expectations: Rogers has all the chances to bring her country a winning spot at the upcoming Championship in Bulgaria.

ZIELINSKA STUBINSKA Weronika (POL) / entry total – 250 kg

At the European Championship in Yerevan, she ranked seventh, while at the Worlds in Riyadh, she became sixth.

Country: Poland

Medal Record: 

  • European U-23 Championship: Bronze – 2019, Bucuresti

Best Results: 98-121-219, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 98 kg, C&J – 121 kg, Total – 219 kg 

Expectations: It’s more than possible that Zielinska will get a high rank and be among the top 6 weightlifters in her weight class.

Photo by @sportdziennik.com

ERIGHINA Elena (MDA) / entry total – 240 kg

the silver medalist in the 87-kg weight class at the 2021 European Championship. However, at the Worlds in Riyadh, she took seventh place, being defeated by Chinese, Ecuadorian, and American lifters.

Country: Moldova
Age: 27 y.o.

Medal Record: 

  • European Championships: Silver – 2021, Moscowl; Bronze – 2023, Yerevan
  • IWF World Cup: Silver – 2020, Rome

Best Results: 107-138-245, 2021 European Championship, Moscow

Personal best: Snatch – 107 kg, C&J – 138 kg, Total – 245 kg 

Women’s up to 87 kg

KOANDA Solfrid Eila Amena (NOR) / entry total – 252 kg

is a two-time gold medalist at the European Championships, and got gold in the Clean & Jerk exercise at the Worlds in Saudi Arabia.

Country: Norway 
Age: 25 y.o
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/98solfrid/ 

Medal Record: 

  • World Championships: Gold – 2022, Bogota; Bronze – 2021, Tashkent
  • European Championships: Gold – 2022, Tirana; Gold – 2023, Yerevan

Best Results: 117-155-272, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 117 kg, C&J – 156 kg, Total – 272 kg 

Expectations: We suppose that she will get a decent award for her performance.

MANIEVSKA Anastasiia (UKR) / entry total – 240 kg

won a silver medal at the 2022 European Championship in Tirana, being defeated by Solfrid Koanda. She repeated the success at the 2023 European Championship: she became a two-time silver medalist in her weight class.

Country: Ukraine
Age: 25 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anastasia_manya/ 

Medal Record: 

  • European Championships: Silver – 2022, Tirana; Silver – 2023, Yerevan
  • European Junior & U23 Championships: Gold – 2021, Rovaniemi/U23 81 kg; Silver – 2019, Bucharest

Best Results: 108-130-238, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 108 kg, C&J – 130 kg, Total – 238 kg 

Expectations: Considering her previous performances, Marievska has good chances to get the top place in the weight class.

KHURSHUDYAN Hripsime (ARM) / entry total – 240 kg

won three bronze medals at the European Championship in Yerevan. However, she was disqualified for a long time from participation in the competitions because of doping control.

Country: Armenia
Age: 36 y.o.

Medal Record: 

  • European Weightlifting Championships: Gold – 2007, Strasbourg; Silver – 2006, Władysławowo; Bronze – 2023, Yerevan; Gold – 2023, Doha

Best Results: 106-126-232, 2023 Grand Prix II, Doha

Personal best: Snatch – 106 kg, C&J – 126 kg, Total – 232 kg

Khurshudyan
@iwf.media

Women’s over to 87 kg

THEISEN LAPPEN Mary (USA) / entry total – 277 kg

won silver at the 2023 World Championship in Riyadh; a three-time gold medalist at the Pan American Championships.

Country: USA
Age: 33 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marytheisenlappen

Medal Record: 

  • World Championships: Silver – 2023, Riyadh
  • Pan American Games: Gold – 2023, Santiago
  • Pan American Championships: Gold – 2021, Guayaquil; Gold – 2023, Bariloche

Best Results: 

  • 120-157-277, 2023 Pan American Games, Santiago
  • 117-160-277, 2023 World Championship, Riyadh

Personal best: Snatch – 120 kg, C&J – 160 kg, Total – 277 kg 

Expectations: Being a powerful weightlifter, Theisen Lappen will probably succeed in winning a medal at this competition.

ROBLES Sarah (USA) / entry total – 276 kg

two-time bronze medalist of the Olympic finals; 2017 senior world champion, and 2008 junior world silver medalist; five-time Pan American champion; eleven-time national champion.

Country: USA
Age: 35 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roblympian/ 

Medal Record: 

  • Olympic Games: Bronze – 2016, Rio de Janeiro; Bronze – 2020, Tokyo
  • World Championship: Gold – 2017, Anaheim
  • Pan American Games: Gold – 2019, Lima
  • Pan American Championships: Gold – 2017, Miami; Gold – 2018, Santo Domingo; Gold – 2019, Guatemala City; Gold – 2020, Santo Domingo; Gold – 2022, Bogota; Silver – 2023, Bariloche

Best Results: 128-162-290, 2018 World Championship, Ashgabat

Personal best: Snatch – 128 kg, C&J – 162 kg (AM), Total: 290 kg (AM)

Expectations: Robles will definitely show incredible performance proving the supremacy of the American weightlifting team.

CAMPBELL Emily (GBR) / entry total – 250 kg

She’s a silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympic Games; a silver and bronze medalist at the Worlds, a three-time gold medalist at the European Championships, and also gold and bronze at the Commonwealth Games.

Country: Great Britain
Age: 29 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emilyjade_gb/ 

Medal Record: 

Olympic Games: Silver – 2020, Tokyo

World Championships: Silver – 2022, Bogota; Bronze – 2021, Tashkent

European Championships: Gold – 2021, Moscow; Gold – 2022, Tirana; Gold – 2023, Yerevan; Bronze – 2019, Batumi

Best Results: 122-161-283, 2022 Olympic Games

Personal best: Snatch – 122 kg, C&J – 165 kg, Total – 287 kg 

Expectations: Being a powerful female weightlifter, Campbell is intended to show promising results at this Championship.

Preliminary Men’s Entry List:

Men’s up to 55 kg

RUSEV Angel (BUL) / entry total – 251 kg

three-time gold and one-time silver medalist at the European Championships, bronze medalist at the Worlds.

Country: Bulgaria
Age: 22 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rusev_angel/ 

Medal Record: 

  • World Championship: Bronze – 2021, Tashkent
  • European Championships: Gold – 2023, Yerevan; Gold – 2022, Tirana; Gold – 2021, Moscow; Silver – 2019, Batumi
  • European Junior & U23 Weightlifting Championship: Gold – 2019, Bucharest

Best Results: 111-147-258, 2021 European Championship, Moscow

Personal best: Snatch – 113 kg, C&J – 153 kg, Total – 258 kg 

Expectations: Analyzing his previous performances at the European and World Championships, we’re expecting he has all the chances to get at least the bronze medal in his weight division.

SHAMILISHVILI Ramini (GEO) / entry total – 250 kg

a silver medalist at the European Championship in Yerevan.

Country: Georgia
Age: 29 y.o.

Medal Record: 

  • European Championship: Silver – 2023, Yerevan

Best Results: 113-136-249, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 113 kg, C&J – 136 kg, Total – 270 kg

Expectations: There’s a high possibility that Shamilishvili will get into the top 5 lifters in the 55-kg weight division.

Men’s up to 61 kg

MISHVELIDZE Shota (GEO) / entry total – 290 kg

a silver medalist at the 2021 World Championship in Tashkent, a two-time gold and silver medalist at the European Championships. He finished fourth at the Worlds in Riyadh.

Country: Georgia
Age: 29 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shotiko.mishvelidze/ 

Medal Record:

  • World Championships: Silver – 2021, Tashkent; Bronze – 2017, Anaheim
  • European Championships: Gold – 2018, Bucharest; Gold – 2023, Yerevan; Silver – 2021, Moscow; Silver – 2022, Tirana

Best Results: 142-165-307, 2022 European Championship, Tirana

Personal best: Snatch – 142 kg, C&J – 165 kg, Total – 307 kg 

Expectations: Mishvelidze showed great results at the previous Championships, so this time in Sofia we suppose he’ll showcase his determination and strength to surpass his rivals and win a medal.

MORRIS Hampton (USA) / entry total – 290 kg

a three-time gold medalist at the Pan American Championships and also a gold and silver medalist at the Junior competitions.

Country: USA
Age: 19 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hamptonmorris/ 

Medal Record: 

  • Pan American Championships: Gold – 2021, Guayaquil; Gold – 2022, Bogota; Gold – 2023, Bariloche
  • Junior Pan American Games: Silver – 2021, Cali
  • Junior World Championships: Gold – 2022, Heraklion; Silver – 2023, Guadalajara
  • Youth World Championship: Gold – 2021, Jeddah

Best Results: 123-158-281, 2023 Pan American Championship, Bariloche

Personal best: Snatch – 123 kg, C&J – 168 kg, Total – 281 kg 

Expectations: This promising and skillful lifter is likely to take a medal in the weight category, being ranked in the top 3.

Ivan Dimov (BUL) / entry total – 290 kg

won the gold medal in the men’s 61 kg event at the 2022 Europeans in Tirana, and bronze at the IWF GRAND PRIX in Qatar.

Country: Bulgaria 
Age: 21 y.o.

Medal Record: 

  • European Championships: Gold – 2022, Tirana; Bronze – 2023, Yerevan
  • European Junior & U23 Weightlifting Championship: Bronze – 2021, Rovaniemi
  • European Youth Weightlifting Championship: Silver – 2018, San Donato Milanese

Best Results: 140-160-300 (2023 Grand Prix II, Doha)

Personal best: Snatch – 140 kg, C&J – 161 kg, Total – 300 kg 

Expectations: Dimov has the proper skillset, great physical form, and mental strength to take a medal at this European Championship in Bulgaria.

Dimov Ivan
Photo by @iwf.media

Men’s up to 67 kg

SAHAKYAN Gor (ARM) / entry total – 325 kg

A European Champion in Yerevan 2023 and a bronze medalist at the Worlds in Riyadh.

Country: Armenia
Age: 20 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gorsahakyan___/ 

Medal Record: 

  • European Championship: Gold – 2023, Yerevan
  • World Championship: Bronze – 2023, Riyadh

Best Results: 145-175-320, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 145 kg, C&J – 175 kg, Total – 320 kg

Expectations: Sahakyan shows impressive results at the world and European-level competitions, so this time we also expect great lifts from this Armenian athlete.

MASSIDDA Sergio (ITA) / entry total – 305 kg

A silver medalist at the 2023 European Championship in Yerevan; and also a silver medalist at the World Championship in Riyadh.

Country: Italy
Age: 21 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sergio_massidda/ 

Medal Record: 

  • World Championship: Silver – 2023, Riyadh
  • European Championship: Silver – 2023, Yerevan

Best Results: 137-165-302, 2023 World Championship, Riyadh

Personal best: Snatch – 137 kg, C&J – 165 kg, Total – 302 kg 

Expectations: Being a promising weightlifter in the Italian team, Massidda can show fruitful results at this competition, probably by getting silver in the weight division.

GENCHEV Valentin (BUL) / entry total – 305 kg

He’s a gold and bronze medalist at the European Championships.

Country: Bulgaria
Age: 23 y.o.

Medal Record: 

  • European Championships: Gold – 2022, Tirana; Bronze – 2021, Moscow
  • European Junior & U23 Weightlifting Championships: Bronze – 2019, Bucharest; Silver – 2021, Rovaniemi

Best Results: 138-177-315, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 139 kg, C&J – 177 kg, Total – 315 kg 

Expectations: We suppose that Genchev could impress the audience with great lifts and will rank in the Top 5 in the 67-kg weight class.

Photo by @dnes.bg

Men’s up to 73 kg

CALJA Briken (ALB) / entry total – 348 kg

He won the silver medal at the 2021 World Championship in Tashkent, he’s also a gold and two-time silver medalist at the European Championships.

Country: Albania
Age: 33 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/briken_calja/ 

Medal Record: 

World Championship: Silver – 2021, Tashkent

European Championships: Gold – 2018, Bucharest; Silver – 2019, Batumi; Silver – 2021, Moscow

Best Results: 156-183-339, 2019 European Championship, Batumi

Personal best: Snatch – 156 kg, C&J – 190 kg, Total – 342 kg 

Expectations: We bet that he will become one of the leaders in the 73-kg weight division.

SUHAREVS Ritvars (LAT) / entry total – 345 kg

A gold and two-time bronze medalist at the European Championships, two-time silver medalist at the European Junior Championships, and four-time gold medalist at the European Youth Championships.

Country: Latvia
Age: 25 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suharevs/ 

Medal Record: 

  • European Championships: Gold – 2023, Yerevan; Bronze – 2021, Moscow; Bronze (2019 Batumi)
  • European Junior Championships: Silver – 2016, Eilat; Silver – 2015, Klaipeda
  • Grand Prix II: Gold – 2023, Doha

Best Results: 162-192-354, 2021 European Championship, Batumi

Personal best: Snatch – 162 kg, C&J – 192 kg, Total – 354 kg 

Expectations: Considering his previous results in Qatar, we expect to see another impressive performance from this talented Latvian lifter who has all the chances to be in the top 3 in his weight category.

ANDREEV Bozhidar (BUL) / entry total – 335 kg

A gold medalist and two-time bronze medalist at the European Championships.

Country: Bulgaria 
Age: 27 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bojidar.andreev.31/ 

Medal Record: 

  • World Championship: Bronze – 2019, Pattaya
  • European Championships: Gold – 2019, Batumi; Bronze – 2021, Moscow; Bronze – 2022, Tirana
  • Youth Olympic Games: Gold – 2014, Nanjing
  • European Youth Championship: Gold  – 2014, Ciechanow
  • European Junior & U23 Weightlifting Championships: Gold – 2018, Zamosc; Gold – 2019, Bucharest

Best Results: 163-198-361, 2019 European Junior & U23 Weightlifting Championship, Bucharest

Personal best: Snatch – 163 kg, C&J – 198 kg, Total – 361 kg

Expectations: Andreev is a highly competitive weightlifter in the category, so he has all the chances to hit the podium.

Photo by @bnr.bg

Men’s up to 81 kg

REYES MARTINEZ Oscar (ITA) / entry total – 362 kg

A World and European Champion in the 81-kg weight class who won gold at the Worlds in Riyadh and Europeans in Yerevan in 2023.

Country: Italy 
Age: 27 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/martinezoscarreyes/ 

Medal Record: 

  • World Championship: Gold – 2023, Riyadh
  • European Championship: Gold – 2023, Yerevan 

Best Results: 163-193-356, 2023 World Championship, Riyadh

Personal best: Snatch – 163 kg, C&J – 193 kg, Total – 356 kg

Expectations: There’s a big probability that this Italian weightlifter can show good performance and gain a winning medal.

HARUTYUNYAN Rafik (ARM) / entry total – 360 kg

A bronze medalist of the European Championship in Yerevan; a European Champion of the Europeans in Albania 2022; and a gold medalist of the European U-23 Championship in Finland.

Country: Armenia 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/r.harutyunyann/ 

Medal Record: 

  • European U-23 Championship: Gold – 2023, Durres
  • European Championship: Bronze – 2023, Yerevan

Best Results: 160-194-354, 2022 European Championship, Tirana

Personal best: Snatch – 160 kg, C&J – 194 kg, Total – 354 kg

Expectations: Harutyunyan can win a medal if he’ll get prepared well physically and mentally to surpass his opponents.

Men’s up to 89 kg

NASAR Karlos May (BUL) / entry total – 390 kg

Is one of the youngest world record holders and champions ever: at 17 years old, he broke the senior 81kg Clean & Jerk world record (208 kg) to win the 2021 World Championship in Tashkent. At 18 years old, Karlos broke the world record in 89kg (220 kg) to win the gold medal in Clean & Jerk at the 2022 World Championship. At the Europeans in Yerevan, he set five new World records in the 89kg event in one day in the Junior and Senior categories. He’s also a gold medalist at the Grand Prix II in Qatar.

Country: Bulgaria 
Age: 19 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karlos_nasar_/ 

Medal Record: 

  • World Championship: Gold – 2021, Tashkent
  • European Championships: Gold – 2023, Yerevan; Silver – 2021, Moscow; Silver – 2022, Tirana
  • IWF Grand Prix: Gold – 2023, Doha
  • World Youth Championship: Gold – 2019, Las Vegas
  • IWF Youth World Cup Online: Gold – 2020, Peru

Best Results: 174-221-395, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan;

Personal best: Snatch – 174 kg, C&J – 223 kg (WR), Total – 395 kg

Expectations:  Nasar is a highly motivated, competitive, and promising weightlifter who constantly shows incredible results despite injuries. We’re sure that he will prove his supremacy once again and probably set another record.

PIZZOLATO Antonino (ITA) / entry total – 380 kg

Olympian bronze medalist in Tokyo, and three-time European Champion, two-time gold medalist at the Mediterranean Games.

Country: Italy 
Age: 27 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nino_pizzolato/ 

Medal Record: 

  • Olympic Games: Bronze – 2020, Tokyo
  • World Championship: Bronze – 2017, Anaheim
  • European Championship: Gold – 2019, Batumi; Gold – 2021, Moscow; Gold – 2022, Tirana
  • Mediterranean Games: Gold – 2022, Oran

Best Results: 175-217-392, 2022 European Championship, Tirana

Personal best: Snatch – 175 kg, C&J – 217 kg, Total – 392 kg

Expectations: Being the major opponent for Karlos Nasar, Pizzolato is another powerful lifter who can impress us with immense weight. He’s a key contender to get a medal in the weight class.

KARAPETYAN Andranik (ARM) / entry total – 375 kg

A silver medalist at the European Championship in Yerevan, a two-time bronze medalist at Europeans as well, and a gold medalist in the 77-kg weight class.

Country: Armenia 
Age: 28 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andranik_karapetyan_official/ 

Medal Record: 

  • World Championship: Bronze – 2015, Houston
  • European Championships: Silver – 2023, Yerevan; Bronze – 2021, Moscow

Best Results: 175-202-377, 2023 World Championship, Riyadh

Personal best: Snatch – 178 kg, C&J – 202 kg, Total – 377 kg

Expectations: With such stellar results, Karapetyan has great chances of getting into the top positions.

Men’s up to 96 kg

HOVHANNISYAN Davit (ARM) / entry total – 380 kg

A European Youth Champion in 2016, a two-time gold medalist at the Europeans in 2022 and 2023; and a bronze medalist in the European Championship in Batumi.

Country: Armenia 
Age: 27 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ddaavit/ 

Medal Record: 

European Championships: Bronze – 2019, Batumi; Gold – 2022, Tirana; Gold – 2023, Yerevan

Best Results:  172-205-377, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 172 kg, C&J – 206 kg, Total – 377 kg

Expectations: We suppose that he can repeat his previous success at the Europeans and gain the gold medal.

MKRTCHYAN Hakob (ARM) / entry total – 380 kg

World Champion and European Champion competing in the 77 kg and 85 kg categories.

Country: Armenia 
Age: 26 y.o.

Medal Record: 

  • World Championship: Gold – 2019, Pattaya
  • European Championships: Gold – 2019, Batumi; Bronze – 2021, Moscow

Best Results: 167-208-375, 2019 World Championship, Pattaya

Personal best: Snatch – 167 kg, C&J – 208 kg, Total – 375 kg

Expectations: He may get a spot in the top positions proving his strength and endurance.

Photo by @sport.mediamax.am

Men’s up to 102 kg

KARAPETYAN Garik (ARM) / entry total – 400 kg

European Youth Champion European Champion in 2023  in the 96-kg weight category. At the Europeans in Yerevan, he also became the European Champion. At the Worlds in Riyadh, he ranked fifth while setting a new youth world record.

Country: Armenia 
Age: 20 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/garikkarapetyan666/ 

Medal Record: 

  • European Championship: Gold – 2023, Yerevan

Best Results: 178-214-392, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 178 kg, C&J – 214 kg, Total – 392 kg

Expectations: We expect him to see at the first top positions in the weight class.

Garik Karapetyan

GASPARYAN Samvel (ARM) / entry total – 400 kg

won the bronze medal at the 2022 World Championship in Bogota. He won two gold medals in the European Championship, the men’s 102 kg event at the 2021 European Championship, and in the 109-kg class at the 2023 European Championship.

Country: Armenia 
Age: 26 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samvelgasparyan/ 

Medal Record: 

  • World Championship: Bronze – 2022, Bogota
  • European Championships: Gold – 2021, Moscow; Gold – 2023, Yerevan; Silver – 2019, Batumi; Silver – 2022, Tirana

Best Results: 175-220-395, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 175 kg, C&J – 220 kg, Total – 395 kg

Expectations: Gasparyan will definitely get at least bronze as he’s known for his ultimate determination and persistence.

Men’s up to 109 kg

HRISTOV Hristo (BUL) / entry total – 395 kg

Is a three-time gold medalist at the European Youth and Junior Championships, and a two-time gold medalist at the World Youth Championships. He’s also a gold and silver medalist at the European Championships in 2021 and 2022.

Country:  Bulgaria 
Age: 22 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hristov_official/ 

Medal Record: 

  • European Championships: Silver – 2021, Moscow; Gold – 2022, Tirana
  • Youth Olympic Games:  Silver – 2018, Buenos Aires
  • World Junior Championship: Gold – 2021, Tashkent

Best Results: 186-220-406, 2021 European Championship, Moscow

Personal best: Snatch – 186 kg, C&J – 220 kg, Total – 406 kg

Expectations: There are big hopes that Hristov will bring his country victory in the category.

DADASHBAYLI Dadash (AZE) / entry total – 380 kg

A bronze medalist at Europeans in 2021 and World Record in 2023. He became a bronze medalist at the World Championship in Riyadh, while at the Grand Prix II in Doha, he became a winner in his weight category by getting two golds and one silver in the single exercises.

Country: Azerbaijan 
Age: 27 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dadashbeyli102/ 

Medal Record: 

  • World Championship: Bronze –  2023, Riyadh
  • European Championship: Bronze – 2021, Moscow

Best Results: 180-223-403, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Expectations: It seems that he will be the next bronze holder on the weight class

PETROSYAN Petros (ARM) / entry total – 380 kg

A bronze medalist at the European Championship in Yerevan. At the Youth European Championship, he is a two-time bronze and silver medalist.

Country: Armenia 
Age: 21 y.o.

Medal Record: 

  • European Championship: Bronze – 2023, Yerevan
  • European Junior Championship: Bronze – 2021, Rovaniemi
  • European Youth Championship: Silver – 2022, Durres

Best Results: 165-214-379, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best: Snatch – 165 kg, C&J – 214, Total – 379 kg

Expectations: Considering his previous performances, Petrosyan would get at least into the top 5, or even win the bronze medal in his weight division.

Photo by @a1plus.am

Men’s up over 109 kg

LALAYAN Varazdat (ARM) / entry total – 460 kg

a three-time medalist at the World Championships and a three-time medalist at the European Championships.

Country: Armenia 
Age: 24 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/v_lalayan_001/ 

Medal Record: 

  • World Championships: Silver – 2021, Tashkent; Silver – 2023, Riyadh; Bronze – 2022, Bogota
  • European Championships: Silver – 2022, Tirana; Silver – 2023, Yerevan; Bronze – 2021, Moscow

Best Results: 215-250-462, 2023 European Championship, Yerevan

Personal best:  Snatch – 215, C&J – 250 kg, Total – 462 kg

Expectations: Lalayan has all the chances to become a major contender in the category, being ranked in the top three.

MARTIROSYAN Simon (ARM) / entry total – 450 kg

Olympian, two-time World Champion, and two-time European Champion; also a two-time silver medalist at the Olympic Games.

Country: Armenia
Age: 26  y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/simon_martirosyan_/ 

Medal Record: 

  • Olympic Games: Silver – 2016, Rio de Janeiro; Silver – 2020, Tokyo
  • World Championships: Gold – 2018, Ashgabat; Gold – 2019, Pattaya; Bronze – 2021, Tashkent
  • European Championships: Gold – 2019, Batumi; Bronze – 2023, Yerevan

Best Results: 199-230-429, 2019 World Championship, Pattaya

Personal best: Snatch – 200 kg, C&J -: 250 kg, Total – 450 kg

Expectations: Martirosyan is believed to be the key opponent in the category, so he can show incredible results. We have no doubts that he will be in the top 3 in this competition.

TALAKHADZE Lasha (GEO) / entry total – 450 kg

Is a two-time Olympic Champion, seven-time World Champion, and seven-time European Champion who currently holds all-time world records in Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and total.

Country: Georgia
Age: 30 y.o.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/talakhadzelasha_official/ 

Medal Record: 

  • Olympic Games: Gold – 2016, Rio de Janeiro; Gold – 2020, Tokyo
  • World Championship: Gold – 2018, Ashgabat; Gold – 2019, Pattaya; Gold – 2021, Tashkent; Gold – 2022, Bogota; Gold – 2023, Riyadh
  • European Championship:; Gold – 2018, Bucharest; Gold – 2019, Batumi; Gold – 2021, Moscow; Gold 2022, Tirana; Gold – 2023, Yerevan

Best Results: 225-267-492, 2021 World Championship, Tashkent

Personal best: Snatch – 225 kg, C&J – 267 kg (CWR), Total – 492 kg (CWR)

Expectations: Being a seven-time world champion, and seven-time European champion, this super heavyweight lifter is likely to become the winner and prove his ultimate power and supremacy in the category.

Final thoughts

Being an Olympic qualifying tournament for the games in Paris 2024, this European Championship is going to be thrilling and full of unpredictable moments. Dozens of world-level weightlifters are gathering at this event to show their form and desire to surpass their rivals to become closer to getting their quotas for the Olympic Games. 

Less than a month left before the start of the competition, so let’s make bets and predictions about who will reign their weight classes and make their country get an award and hit the podium in Sofia.

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Tanya Shaiko

Author: Tanya Shaiko
News Editor, Olympic Lifting Enthusiast

Oly Lifting Experience: 6 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 61 kg,
C&J – 78 kg

I’m Tanya, and I just can’t do without fitness. About six years ago, I got into Olympic weightlifting and instantly fell in love with it. Weightlifting is like no other sport – it’s just you versus the bar. Driven by my unwavering passion for an active lifestyle, I’ve been eager to share my personal journey and sports enthusiasm with others. As a journalist and photographer, my interests come full circle, adding an extra dimension to the news column that I curate. This way, I keep my readers updated with the latest happenings in the sports world.

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