Home Articles How do Aussie weightlifters qualify for the Olympics?

How do Aussie weightlifters qualify for the Olympics?

by theweightliftingplatform

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are approaching but there’s still not a lot of publicly available information about our Australian athletes and how they’ll qualify for the games. So we here at The Weightlifting Platform thought we should do something about that! We’ll give a rundown on how it’s all going to shake out, coupled with some predictions about who we reckon will make it to Tokyo next year.

Olympic qualifying basics

All rankings are based on the Robi point system that the IWF introduced in the middle of 2018. Athletes accumulate Robi points based on their performance at gold-, silver- and bronze-level weightlifting events.

Depending on the level of competition athletes will receive additional Robi points:

  • Bronze-level events will receive 1.00 x Robi points
  • Silver-level events will receive 1.05 x Robi points
  • Gold-level events will receive 1.10 x Robi points

So once athletes are ranked on Robi points, how is it decided who gets to go? 

  • The top eight athletes ranked overall (in the world) on Robi points will qualify first.
  • Then, athletes ranked top of their weight division in their continent will qualify 
  • Australian athletes are part of the Oceania continent, which means athletes from Australia, New Zealand and across all Pacific Islands are in with a shot to secure that top-ranking spot
  • Each country is only allowed to send three men and three women in total.

The weight categories are:

Men

  • 61
  • 67
  • 73
  • 81
  • 96
  • 109
  • 109+

Women

  • 49
  • 55
  • 59
  • 64
  • 76
  • 87
  • 87+

Which Aussies are most likely to make it?

Kiana Elliot (64kg) and Kaitlyn Fassina (87kg) are two of Australia’s top lifters and look as though they have the top spot in their continent locked up. In saying this, neither Kiana nor Kaitlyn have definitively clinched that berth yet, so they’ll have to continue to lift well at international events.

After Erika Yamasaki’s (59kg) performance at Worlds over the weekend, it looks at though it pushes her up from third into either first or second, above her country women, Seen Lee. Erika still has a lot of work to do needing to compete in three more qualifying events between now and April 2020 and to stay hold onto the number one ranking.

Erika at 2015 World Champs – Photo: Hookgrip

Brandon Wakeling (73kg) has a bit more work to do to make sure he stays in front of Taretiita Tabaroua from Kiribati. Even though Brandon had a great 5/6 at Worlds last weekend, Taretiita still managed to edge out Brandon by 1kg in the total. We will have to wait and see how this will result affects the Robi points ranking. This is a battle worth watching.

Eileen Cikamatana (87kg), who unofficially broke the World Junior clean & jerk record — along with about 30 other records! — at just 19 years old at the Australian Junior and Under 23 Nationals recently has an outside chance but is unlikely to qualify for 2020. This is due to her switching countries — from Fiji to Australia — and having to go through the citizenship process before being allowed to compete for the green and gold.

Australia is sending a team of Stephanie Davies (71kg), Ebony Gorincu (71kg), Kaitlyn Fassina (87kg) and Brandon Wakeling (73kg) to the 2019 San Diego Open. They’re hoping to top up their Robi points in San Diego to then book their tickets to Tokyo in 2020. 

There are some real battles going on within Australia and Oceania for the top ranked spots. This is a great opportunity for Australian weightlifting to push our top athletes even further.

Funding is also offered to supplement travel to any and all athletes that have a realistic chance at the Olympics. The AWF seems to be pulling out all the stops to assist our high-performance athletes at the international level. Watch this space!

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