Since the last modifications effective since 1 January 2015, the IWF Technical Committee has continuously collected, reviewed and discussed the modification proposals to make the IWF TCRR up-to-date. All these proposals have been regularly reported to the IWF Executive Board - the authorized body to approve TCRR modifications – which at its recent meeting on 25 September 2016 approved the modifications of the IWF TCRR effective from 1 January 2017.

Beside the regular facelifts including corrections, explanations, harmonisations, etc., some of the modifications were significant enough for the EB to decide to put them on the Agenda of the Congress for ratification. The delegates unanimously passed those on 19 October 2016. With this small summary I would like to highlight a few significant modifications and their background in order to better understand the reasons for the change.

  1. Introduction of the 8th bodyweight category for Women

    After a long journey the IWF Congress decided on 24 June 2016 to add one more bodyweight category (at the higher end) for women in order to reach gender equality (see a separate article on women’s weightlifting on pages 20-23). It is important to highlight that the IWF’s approach was not to reconsider all bodyweight categories but to introduce an additional one by creating 2 categories dividing +75kg. That means actually to introduce one additional but 2 new categories. In order to do so, all the actual bodyweights of the +75kg athletes registered in our database going back to 1998 were analysed, together with additional sports specific factors. Following this approach and based on the statistics and other considerations, the IWF Executive Board decided to introduce 90kg and +90kg for juniors and seniors, 75kg and +75kg for youth.In the near future new World Records will be established for the new categories that is the highest weight lifted with the relevant bodyweight (in an IWF Event since 1998).

  2. Abolishment of the bodyweight advantage in the ranking

    First of all it is important to underline that with this change the main principle still remains the same: who lifts more wins! I know some people may say that abolishing the bodyweight advantage will result in many equal results (weights) where the Lot Number, meaning luck, can be the deciding factor. We do not believe so, since today the equal results (weights) are often the result of a passive competition strategy whereby the lighter athlete intentionally matches the lift of the heavier athlete in order to win on bodyweight. By abolishing this advantage an active competition strategy will replace the above and athletes will be compelled to take 1kg more in order to win. And I believe we all agree that we want to see the champions winning on the podium and not in the sauna – by losing a few more grams. Speaking about the sauna and losing (more) weight, medical considerations also supported this change. Doctors were unanimous that henceforth athletes (especially young ones) will not be forced to stay longer in the sauna than necessary to make the bodyweight to fit in the category. The new classification will also make sure that it is the record holder who receives the gold medal. According to the existing rule if the record holder making the weight first was heavier, the lighter athlete lifting the same weight later is awarded the gold medal – and it did happen occasionally. Finally, we believe that non-expert spectators will it easier to understand the classification with the new rule for ranking. Credit should be given to Mr. Yuriy Neskorodov from Russia who initiated this modification with his original proposal in 2013.

  3. 15/20kg rule changed to 20kg rule for both gender (Entry Total / starting weights)

    The 15/20kg rule (referred to the starting weights compared to the Entry Total) originated form the weight of the bar (15kg for Women, 20kg for Men). However, this means that the women have to lift 5kg more (only 15kg difference allowed) compared to the men (20kg difference allowed) in reference to their Entry Total, so the women have been disadvantaged with this rule. In order to provide equal conditions for both genders, the difference between the Entry Total and the aggregate weight of the starting attempts can now be 20kg for women as well.

Beside the TCRR modification, I also would like to inform you about two technical developments

  • Video Replay During the recent 2016 IWF Youth World Championships a significant milestone was achieved regarding an ongoing project of the IWF Technical Committee. A few interested companies have visited Penang to present their Video Replay technologies during a real competition and we could see and experience the features of their systems. It was an interesting experience for the IWF, teams and the Technical Officials helping us to find the best possible way. Our goal is not only to implement a system for this very reason, but furthermore to provide extra functions and services with the same technical infrastructure. It is important to highlight that our driving force in this project is to provide better conditions for our athletes by ensuring correct decisions. Therefore, the ultimate mission of the exercise can be nothing else than providing the possibility for the athletes and their teams to benefit from new technology by requesting a review process. Also, in line with Good Governance principles, it is necessary to develop a process where the replays are visible for all the stakeholders, including spectators, for two reasons:
    • Transparency: there should be no room for doubts or questions why a decision is changed
    • Education: to highlight incorrect and incomplete movements for the non-experts.