The International Weightlifting Federation runs three flagship World Championships - for senior, junior and youth weightlifters.


Senior World Championships

The IWF's World Championships for senior lifters is the governing body's most elite event.

The competition dates all the way back to 1891, when the first edition for only male weightlifters was held in London.

In 1987, the first Women's World Championships were held in Daytona Beach in the United States.

Separate events for men and women continued until 1990, when the decision was taken to bring male and female athletes together in one combined competition. 

The World Championships is the flagship IWF competition ©IWF
The World Championships is the flagship IWF competition ©IWF

The first joint World Championships featuring both men and women took place in Donaueschingen in Germany in 1991.

Since then, the event has usually taken place every year, with the exception of Olympic years when no competition takes place.

The next edition of the World Championships will be held in Bogota in Colombia in December 2022.

Colombia's capital was named as host by the IWF in April 2022 after eight countries had expressed an interest in hosting the Championships.

It means the country, and South America, will stage the World Championships for the first time.

Lifting will take place at the Gran Carpa Américas Corferias.  

The 2022 World Championships will be held in Colombia ©IWF
The 2022 World Championships will be held in Colombia ©IWF

A record-breaking event is on the cards as the registration of more than 700 athletes means it is on course to be the biggest World Championships in the sport's history.

Seventeen holders of current world records are due to compete, and three of the contests will feature two gold medallists from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Championships will also be the first qualifying competition for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Gold medals will be awarded for total, snatch and clean and jerk across 20 weight divisions - 10 for men and 10 for women.


Men and women have competed together since 1991 ©IWF
Men and women have competed together since 1991 ©IWF

The men will compete in the 55 kilograms, 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 81kg, 89kg, 96kg, 102kg, 109kg and over-109kg events.

Women will take to the stage at 45kg, 49kg, 55kg, 59kg, 64kg, 71kg, 76kg, 81kg, 87kg and over-87kg.

It means 60 sets of medals will be available in all.

Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh is due to hold the World Championships in 2023.


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Junior World Championships

The IWF Junior World Championships are for male and female lifters aged between 15 and 20.

Marseille in France hosted the first edition of the event in 1975 and it is now held on an annual basis.

The most recent edition was held in Heraklion on Greek island Crete.

The latest IWF Junior World Championships were held in Crete ©IWF
The latest IWF Junior World Championships were held in Crete ©IWF

More than 300 athletes from 61 countries took part across the weight divisions.

Turkey won two gold medals, three silvers and a bronze to top the standings.

Guadalajara in Mexico is due to host the Championships in 2023.


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Youth World Championships

Weightlifters aged between 13 and 17 can compete at the IWF Youth World Championships.

Ten editions have been held since the inaugural event in Chiang Mai in Thailand in 2009.

Mexican city León staged the last edition of the Championships in June 2022. 

Nearly 200 lifters from 37 countries took part, both male and female.

León was the host of the 2022 Youth World Championships ©IWF
León was the host of the 2022 Youth World Championships ©IWF

Kazakhstan and Colombia both won four gold medals, but it was the former who topped the medal table by virtue of having claimed one more bronze.

Durres in Albania is due to host the next edition of the Championships in 2023.