In past years the Australian Open has been used as a bridging event with a slightly lower qualifying total to attract mass participation. In 2020 this about to change considerably.
“Next year is a bit of an anomaly with the Australian Open. The idea of the Australian Open is that it would be more of a participation driven event, be a little bit more open to more athletes to be apart of but because of the Tokyo qualifications event status it’s an IWF event.”
Because of this the AWF have decided to do away with the participation event and just run the Open as an elite Olympic qualifying meet.
“We expect, particularly, as we start to get down to the end of the Tokyo qualification period, as we move into the last third of the overall qualifying period there will be a number of our international neighbours who will be looking for qualification events maintain their eligibilities.”
This will surely make for an exciting event to watch, with so many spots still on the line for the Olympics.
But this really shows how much the AWF is moving towards high-performance over participation. Is this the right move, right now? The jury is still out and we will have to wait and see.
Ian continues “we couldn’t reconcile the difference then of a mass participation, yet it being a Tokyo qualifying event. So 2020 Open is a little bit different, with the standards a bit higher. 2021 certainly the Australian Open will be a more accessible to a lot more lifters.”
We make the assumption that in 2021 the standards will be dropped down again which will be great to see.
There has been a lot of discussion around the reason it took so long for the AWF to announce the venue for the Open. Ian explained that they needed to get in and see how the AIS was going to run for the 2019 Nationals. The venue hasn’t been used for a national level event since the mid-90s.
There are plans to expand the warm-up room with 3 more platforms to accommodate the international athletes and make them more spacious. If you were out the back during the 2019 Nationals you would know that the warm-up area was cramped.
I would like to thank Ian Moir for taking the time to chat with us at The Weightlifting Platform and allowing the weightlifting community to understand the reasoning behind these major decisions. We hope to continue bringing you these exclusive interviews and content. And we always love to hear what you think.