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March 25, 2022
COVID-19 is back with a vengeance in mainland China since late February, leading officials to withdraw from hosting the 2022 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships. China was set to host the event this November in the massive city of Chongqing. The IWF will now have to look elsewhere to host the event.
The event initially billed as "a carnival for the international weightlifting family" will no longer happen towards the end of the year. The Chinese Weightlifting Association notified the IWF that they must pull out of being the host to the event due to the surge of COVID-19 in the country.
The CWA released a statement saying, "After thoughtful consideration, it is with great regret that we are not able to meet all the IWF requirements to organise the IWF World Championships this year."
China is currently locking down entire cities or large sections of them to help curb the spread of the virus, making hosting events not a tenable possibility.
This is very unfortunate news for the sport of weightlifting as China had big ambitions to make this event go down in history so that no one would forget it. China was originally planning on making the event more marketable to a wider fan base.
CWA's President, Zhou Jinqiang, spoke about teaming up with Tiktok and Baidu so that the event would've had more exposure and also spoke about prize money for the athletes, which would've been a first. It's also important to note that Zhou could eventually become the IWF's next president.
Last year's IWF World Championships produced many memorable moments in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Hopefully, this year will provide another spectacle of elite weightlifting wherever it ends up being hosted.
We would've liked to see the show China was set to put on for the 2022 IWF World Championships because few if any, countries would be willing to match the resources that China would put into them. The IWF now has to find a replacement host and has notified National Federations they have 15 days to speak up with interest in hosting the event.
We'll keep you posted on new developments soon.
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