This time year the question starts to fly around. “When is the qualifying and event calendar coming out for next year?”
Well, it’s here and there are some big changes.
Let’s start with the big one coming up. “The Australian Open”.
In the past, we have found that this is a bridging event between state-level and Senior Nationals. In 2020 this is far from the case where we see the standard being raised to the new National standard.
Hosted at the AIS where a very success Senior Nationals were held the Open will be an Olympic qualifying event which could be the reason for standard increase by roughly about 25% since 2018 across all weight classes.
On a positive note, having the Open back at the AIS is a great move. It’s the perfect facility for such a big event where we should see several high-level international athletes pushing to Olympic spots.
Not only has the Open standard gone up but all major AWF events from Youth Oceania to Senior Nationals and above have all gone up one grading. The grading system has not changed at all. It’s the same scale from K to Elite with the same numbers but most competition standards have just moved up.
There are a couple of reasons the AWF may have felt the need to up the standards:
- There were too many people at competitions this year and they need to limit attendance
At this point in Australian Weightlifting growth, this could be a risky move. Limiting attendance by raising the standard at possibly a big growth spurt could set back attendance for a few more years. The jump from the state level to a national level may be too large and end up deterring athletes from pursuing the next step.
- They are looking to push Australian Weightlifting forward by making athletes work harder for their spots.
Compared to a lot of the world Australian standards are incredibly low and this could be a great way (if enough athletes continue and push) for Australian Weightlifting to start expecting more from their athletes. Raising the bar is a great thing and may produce some great talent as a result.
For comparison, from 2015 to 2019 in the men’s 85/89kg weight class, the National standard increased by 9kg. From 2019 to 2020 in the same weight class, the standard has increased 17kg. In the females, 58/59kg weight class from 2015 to 2019 there was a 4kg increase vs the 20kg jump from 2019 to 2020.
A number of athletes in the 2019 Nationals surpassed the 2020 qualifying total per weight class are listed below:
What we do know now though is that to qualify for the Australian Open and Senior Nationals in 2020 you need to up your game and get that D Grade qualification total.
What are your thoughts on the new 2020 event calendar? We would love to hear what you think.
Tomorrow we will have a response from Ian Moir, the AWF CEO addressing a lot of these questions.
Attached is the full AWF event calendar: click here