International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) President Tamás Aján has warned the sport he leads it cannot afford to sit back and assume that it will always be part of the Olympic Games, despite the fact that at Tokyo 2020 it will be celebrating 100 continuous years on the programme.
Speaking here at the Pacific Games, where the weightlifting competition took place across four intense days from Sunday (July 4) to Wednesday (July 8), Aján admitted the IWF must work tirelessly to maintain weightlifting’s place at the world’s biggest sporting showpiece.
Weightlifting has been contested at every Summer Olympic Games since 1920, as well as twice before then.
It debuted at the 1896 Games in Athens and was also an event at the 1904 edition in St. Louis.
“I know very well we have to work 24 hours a day and 365 days,” said Aján, a 76-year-old Hungarian, who has been President of the IWF since 2000.
“Weightlifting is a core sport but we have to defend ourselves and I hope weightlifting will be on the Olympic Games 2024 [sports programme] and [that] for the other Olympic Games also.”
Aján hailed the meteoric rise of weightlifting in the Pacific, pinpointing the awarding of the 2000 Olympic Games to Sydney in September 1993 as the starting point.
As the IWF’s secretary general at the time, Aján revealed he had made it his goal to improve the standard of weightlifting in the Pacific area ahead of the Games in Australia.

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