Due to the IWF rule regarding the Olympic qualifying criteria, countries are only allowed to send three male and three female athletes to the Olympics.
In cases where a single country has too many athletes that meet the qualification criteria, that country’s peak weightlifting body can select whomever they desire from the qualified athletes.
Australia has a high chance of having more than three women qualify for the games, so The Weightlifting Platform enquired about the selection criteria that the AWF will implement when selecting athletes, if it comes down to it.
The AWF responded:
“The National Federation will nominate Athletes who, in the opinion of the National Federation, in its absolute discretion:
(a) will be most likely to achieve the highest competitive results at the Games; and
(b) is, and will remain until the conclusion of the Games, a positive ambassador for the Sport, National Federation and the Games.”
On the face of it, these seem like sensible criteria. No one would argue against the idea of giving preference to “positive ambassadors” for weightlifting. But the criteria are also fairly broad, and leave a lot of room for subjective interpretation.
It will be a stressful time for both athletes and the AWF if four or more women qualify for the Olympics.
The athletes have only one more qualifying period to prove themselves.
Tension will be high and the pressure on for all — including the AWF.