With the Executive Board of the International Weightlifting Federation introducing seven new weight categories for both men and women in Olympics, Saikhom Mira Bai Chanu might compete in 49 kg category in 2020. The Commonwealth Games gold medalist has been competing in the 48 kg category so far.
2020 Olympics would see women competing in weight categories like 49kg, 55kg, 59kg, 64kg, 76kg, 87kg and +87kg. The men would compete in classes like 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 81kg, 96kg, 109kg and +109kg. In Rio Olympics two years back, the women weightlifters competed in 48kg, 53kg, 58kg, 63kg, 69kg, 75kg and +75kg, while the men had 56kg, 62kg, 69kg, 77kg, 85kg, 94kg, 105kg and +105kg.
The EB’s decision, which was taken on Monday, was approved by the Congress of the IWF, in a meeting just before the start of the World Junior Championships at the Uzbekistan capital.
The youth and junior categories also saw some new weight categories getting introduced that will come into effect from the next national championship.
In a circular issued to all state units and executive members, the national federation said, “The bodyweight categories will be affected from the forthcoming 14th Youth (sub-junior boys and girls) and 55th men’s and 31st women’s junior national weightlifting championships 2018-19 and 71st men and 34th women senior national weightlifting championships 2018-19.”
The last World Championships held in the United States in November 2017, saw Mirabai clinching a gold medal in women’s 48kg category and she will remain the favourite to go into the Asian Games next months, where there is no change in weight category in the Asian Games.