ATR EXTRA Jeddah is already history with its new generation records and medals, while weightlifting aims for Tashkent, the final destination

Under-17s from Russia and the United States marked the lead at the Saudi World Cup venue, with Colombia and Mexico leading the way in Latin America.

Hampton Morris (USA), key man at the U-17 in Jeddah (IWF)
Hampton Morris (USA), key man at the U-17 in Jeddah (IWF)

A new generation of weightlifters sent a promising signal three years out from the Paris Olympics after eight rounds of the IWF Under-17 World Championships in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Eight world records for the category were set at the event with 202 athletes from 44 countries, in which Russia topped the men’s and women’s medal table.

The Arab nation organized for the first time a weightlifting tournament of international relevance, and Jeddah allowed to relive these championships in person after the previous edition in Lima, Peru, in 2020, was held virtually.

Several medal winners in the international “online” competition organized by the Peruvian Federation and the IWF last November now climbed the podium in Jeddah.

Two years ago in Las Vegas, the United States had won the men’s and women’s team titles. This time they maintained their dominance in the women’s team while the Russians did the same in the men’s team.

The Americans were the only ones to present the maximum quota of 20 athletes, followed by Russia (17) and Iran (14).

Also from the U.S. were the two top performers of the World Championships: Katie Estep (55 kg) and Hampton Morris (61 kg), with two world records each.

Estep, a native of Auburn, Washington, lifted 89 kg in Arranque to beat by one kilogram the mark set by Nina Sterckx of Belgium at the 2019 European Youth Championships in Eilat, Israel.

In the Total, Estep made 198 kg, a weight with which she broke the standing record of Pak Jin-hae, of North Korea (197 kg), set in 2019 during the Asian competition of the category contested in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

Morris, from Marietta, Georgia, with 156 kg in Envion, broke his own world record (155 kg), which he had made at the Pan American Championships in Manizales, Colombia, in July 2021.

The 17-year-old also set a new world record in the Total with 276 kg, three kilograms higher than that of Indonesia’s Muhammad Faathir in February 2020.

Estep and Morris will soon represent the United States again, this time at the First Pan American Junior Games starting November 25 in Cali, Colombia.

The protagonists of the other four under-17 world records were Zarina Gusalova (Russia) in 71 kg with 103 kg in snatch and 226 kg in total, in the female sector, and Satrio Adi Nugroho, from Indonesia, 55 kg (111 kg in snatch) and Kaan Kahriman, Turkey, in 61 kg (276 kg in total), in the male sector.

In the final ranking of the best weightlifters of the tournament, among the top 10 escorted Estep, Zalina Gusalova (RUS-71 kg), Ingrid Segura (COL- 64 kg), Milana Kutiakina (RUS- 49 kg), Monika Marach (POL- 64 kg), Medine Bilicier (TUR- 49 kg),Nigora Suvonova (UZB- 71 kg), Jean Rose Ramos (PHI- 45 kg), Ozoda Hojieva (UZB- 55 kg) and Karol Lopez (COL- 49 kg).

The men’s scoring table was topped after leader Morris by Alireza Abbaspoor (IRI- 81 kg), Rakhat Bekbolat (KAZ- 102 kg), Weeraphon Wichuma (THA- 67 kg), Alexsandr Lazaryan (ARM-89 kg),Mikhail Podkorytov (RUS- 89 kg), Kaan Kahriman (TUR-61 kg), Antonio Carrasco (MEX-61 kg), Hakan Kurnaz (TUR- 89 kg), and Kurbonmurod Nomozov (UZB-96 kg).

Seven countries represented the Americas. Along with the USA, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Panama, and Brazil attended.

Financial constraints, which became more acute for several federations after the one-year extension of the preparation for the Olympic Games, apparently prevented greater Latin American participation in a distant venue.

However, the performance of the region’s athletes can be considered outstanding.

Katie Estep (USA), shining among the women / IWF
Katie Estep (USA), shining among the women / IWF

Colombia, with only six athletes, won 14 medals, five gold, four silver and five bronze. Its five gold medals, thanks to its women (Dubaney Sinisterra, two in 59 kg; Ingrid Segura, two in 64 kg and Karol López in 49 kg) allowed Colombia to place second in the list of medals per country, only surpassed by Russia.

Another outstanding performance was that of Mexico with 12 medals: three gold, three silver and six bronze, through Adolfo Tun (55 kg), Herseleid Carrasco (61), Vanesa Hernández (81), Ximena León (55) and Angeles Cruz (76).

In the women’s division, Brazil won four medals, three silver and one bronze: three by Taiane Justino de Lima in +81 and one for Julia Vieira (55 kg) in rebound.

Venezuela also climbed the podium through Josué Arango in the 67 kg with three silver medals.

As was the case at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, where several countries won historic medals, Jeddah also witnessed some similar moments.

In the case of Iran, for example, young Yekta Jamali won the first silver medal in the annals of women’s weightlifting in her country. She delivered that unprecedented performance in the 81 kg category with a total of 205 kg.

Jamali had already made history in May in Tashkent with a bronze at the World Youth Championships, which marked the first medal for Iranian women.

Saudi Arabia’s two medals in the host competition were won by Ali Majeed with silver in the snatch and bronze in the 55 kg total.

The women’s medal tally was led by Russia with 6 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze followed by Colombia 5-4-2, Turkey 4-2-2-2, USA 3-3-4, Kazakhstan 3-0-0, Poland 2-3-1, Mexico 2-2-5, Philippines 2-1-1, Georgia 2-1-0, Thailand 1-2-2, Uzbekistan 0-4-2, Brazil 0-3-1, Iran 0-2-2, Spain 0-1-0, Indonesia 0-0-3.

In men’s, Russia led with 7 gold, 9 silver and 5 bronze, Thailand 4-1-2, Uzbekistan 4-0-1, Iran 3-0-2, Kazakhstan 3-0-0, Turkey 2-5-7, USA 2-2-0, Armenia 2-0-1, Czech Republic 1-2-0, Mexico 1-1-1, Indonesia 1-0-0, Georgia 0-5-1, Venezuela 0-3-0, Saudi Arabia 0-1-1, Iraq 0-1-1, Ukraine 0-0-3, Colombia 0-0-3, Poland 0-0-1 and Spain 0-0-1.

The team point standings were led by USA, Russia and Iran in the women’s division and Russia, USA and Saudi Arabia in the men’s division.

The next world senior event will convene the weightlifting family in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, from December 7 to 17. During those days, along with medals, records, doping and anti-doping controls, an important step will be taken in the IWF reform process closely monitored by the IOC with the creation of a new Athletes’ Commission.

Four days later, the eyes will still be on the Uzbek capital with the Electoral Congress of the International Federation, whose results should mark the “before and after” of the questioned institution.

Presented by the International Weightlifting Federation. For more information on the IWF, click here.