Jakarta, MINA – The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) have allowed organisers to add an additional men’s weight category to the 2018 Asian Games weightlifting programme, which is expected to benefit home Indonesian lifter Eko Yuli Irawan.
Irawan has been a regular medallist in the men’s under-62 kilogram category at major events, including earning an Olympic silver medal at Rio 2016 and bronze at London 2012.
He has also earned two World Championship silver medals in the division, as well as bronze medals at both the Guangzhou 2010 and Incheon 2014 Asian Games.
The discipline was not included by the Asian Weightlifting Federation (AWF) for the Games, which are due to take place in Jakarta and Palembang.
OCA director general Hussain Al Mussalam, however, wrote to organisers and the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) to state that the organisation have approved the request for the division to be included.
“KOI and Jakarta Palembang 2018 appreciated the OCA’s decision, as on the one hand, the decision generated optimism from the weightlifting branch and Eko Yuli for better preparation,” Inside the Games reported, citing Erick Thohir, KOI President Wednesday.
“While on the other hand, for the Organising Committee this was a challenge as the number of matches increased.
Win win solution
“This is also a win, win solution that relieves us as the host because the gold medal chances for the weightlifter remain open, and also for AWF who did not experience a class reduction from their plans that refer to the Tokyo Olympics 2020.”
The decision will see men’s 56kg, 62kg, 69kg, 77kg, 85kg, 94kg, 105kg and over-105kg divisions being contested by men’s weightlifters at the Games.
It also means that there will be one more men’s category than women’s, with eight divisions compared to seven.
The Games are set to take place between August 18 and September 2. (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (NINA)