More than 15 Olympic and world medalists in continental weightlifting event in Bogotá

The Pan American Championship opens this Sunday in the Colombian capital, which will host the IWF World Championship in December.

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This picture taken with a remote camera shows Ecuador's Neisi Patricia Dajomes Barrera reacting as she competes in the women's 76kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on August 1, 2021. (Photo by Chris GRAYTHEN / POOL / AFP)
This picture taken with a remote camera shows Ecuador's Neisi Patricia Dajomes Barrera reacting as she competes in the women's 76kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on August 1, 2021. (Photo by Chris GRAYTHEN / POOL / AFP)

More than 15 Olympic and world medalist weightlifters are gathered in Bogotá to compete at the Pan American Championships starting Sunday, and being held at the Palacio de los Deportes in the Colombian capital.

This number of women and men competing and winning at Tokyo 2020 and at the last Worlds in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, last year, is a reflection of the progress that weightlifting has made in America.

The continental tournament is of great interest to competitors seeking the necessary points to qualify for the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile in 2023. A total of 136 places are up for grabs.

Nearly 280 athletes from more than 20 countries have registered for the Colombian event that could be considered a “mini-rehearsal” of the World Championship of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) that will be held in Bogotá from December 1 to 18, 2022.

Bogotá was chosen by the IWF after a vote among eight candidate cities after the resignation of Chongqing due to the COVID-19 outbreaks in China.

The crisis that the IWF has been suffering for years, which led itó to be warned by the IOC of a possible exclusion from the Olympic Games, it aggravó last January, when the irregularities were revealed. EFE/Leonardo Muñoz/File
The crisis that the IWF has been suffering for years, which led itó to be warned by the IOC of a possible exclusion from the Olympic Games, it aggravó last January, when the irregularities were revealed. EFE/Leonardo Muñoz/File

This World Championship will be the first event that will give athletes the opportunity to register the necessary marks in search of their qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

It will be the first time that Colombia hosts a Senior World Weightlifting Championship. In America, the United States has sponsored it seven times since 1947 in Philadelphia.

Bogotá will be the fifth occasion of a World Cup in Latin America after the editions of Mexico City (1968), Lima (1971), Havana (1973) and Santo Domingo (2006).

The Pan American Championship has given the opportunity to several members of the new IWF Executive Board, such as the first vice president Ursula Papandrea (USA), the president of the Pan American Federation, the Peruvian José Quiñones and the Costa Rican Yassiny Esquivel, to see the preparations up close, as the Colombian organizers ready for the World Championships in less than five months.

More than a thousand people are expected for the world competition, including athletes, coaches, officials, companions and the press, estimate some sources consulted.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion in the 76 kg, now in 81 kg, the Ecuadorian Neici Patricia Dajomes Barrera, heads the list of registered medalists gallery.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Weightlifting - Women's 76kg - Medal Ceremony - Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo, Japan - August 1, 2021. Gold medalist Neisi Dajomes of Ecuador reacts. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Weightlifting - Women's 76kg - Medal Ceremony - Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo, Japan - August 1, 2021. Gold medalist Neisi Dajomes of Ecuador reacts. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Among the Olympic runners-up are Tamara Salazar (ECU), Katherine Nye (USA), Luis Javier Mosquera (COL), Julio Mayora (VEN), Zacarías Bonnat (DOM), Keydomar Vallenilla (VEN), also a medalist in the last World Cup.

Among the Olympic bronzes, Cismery Santana (DOM) and Sarah Robles (USA) stand out. Robles and her compatriot Mary Theisen are the favorites to prevail in the super heavyweight division as they have done in the last two continental versions.

The medalists of the Tashkent World Cup are led by the 71 kg champion, Meredith Alwine (USA) accompanied by the vice world champions Martha Ann Rogers (USA), Valeria Rivas (COL), Manuela Berrio (COL), Yenny Alvarez and Francisco Mosquera (COL).

Another world bronze present will be Dayana Chirinos (VEN).

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic medalist, the Mexican Aremi Fuentes, declined to attend the Pan American Championship at the last minute due to a sprain in her left knee to preserve herself for the World Cup in December and be in Bogotá anyway.