Weightlifters vie for Olympic tickets in Qatar’s Grand Prix
Vietnamese athletes are in the hunt for Olympic tickets at the IWF Grand Prix II Weightlifting 2023 in Qatar this week.
A team of the five strongest competitors arrived in Doha and are ready for the tournament, which is taking place from December 4-14.
Competitions will be held across 10 weight categories for men ranging from U55kg to over-109kg, and as many for women from U45kg to over-87kg.
The Grand Prix is one of the qualifying events for the Paris 2024 Olympics and performances at the Qatar meet will award the lifters competing in the Olympic weight classes with OQR (Olympic Qualification Ranking) points.
The OQR points will be based on the best total results (snatch, clean and jerk) that the athletes manage to lift in qualifying competitions.
The top 10 athletes based on OQR, which will include one highest-ranked athlete per country in each weight category, will obtain Olympic quotas for their national teams after the qualification cycle ends in April 2024.
"All Vietnamese athletes have prepared well with a view of winning an Olympic place in Paris 2024. Weightlifters are really confident and determined so we expect to make our Olympic dream come true," said Nguyen Huy Hung of the Sports Authority of Vietnam.
In Doha, former world champion Trinh Van Vinh and Asian winner Nguyen Tran Anh Tuan will compete in the men's 61kg. There are a total of eight weightlifters in this category, from China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
Asian champion Quang Thi Tam will be seen in action in the women's 59kg against reigning Asian Games gold medallist Kim Il-gyong of the DPRK and silver medallist Shifang Lou of China.
There are top-notch weightlifters in the division from Canada, Venezuela, Italy, Belgium, Ukraine, the Philippines, and Canada.
Young talent Pham Dinh Thi will take part in the women's 49kg. She will go up against nine other weightlifters including those from Canada, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Mexico, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Asian bronze medallist Pham Thi Hong Thanh will vie for a medal in the women's 71kg category.
She will face more than 10 other weightlifters from Canada, China, the US, Italy, the Philippines, and the UK.
Lastly, Sarno and Macrohon will take centre stage on December 12 in the women’s 71kg division.
Among them Vinh and Tuan are the best hopes for Vietnam, according to Hung. Tuan is world No 8 while Vinh places No 10. Meanwhile world No 12 Thanh would be a secret weapon which could 'explode' at the tournament.
After Qatar, athletes will take part in the Olympics' Asian qualification zone in February, 2024 in Uzbekistan, and the 2024 World Cup in April in Thailand.
At the 2024 Paris Olympics, there are 120 official spots in weightlifting (60 men, 60 women) and each country can have no more than three athletes in each weight class.