By Gary Anderson

February 2 - The IOC and IWF have revealed the qualification process for Rio 2016 ©AFP/Getty ImagesWeightlifting qualification criteria for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has been announced following its approval by the International Olympic Committee's Executive Board. 

The qualification route will follow a similar pattern to that for London 2012 through a combination of team and individual qualification spots.

In all there will be 156 men competing across eight weight categories in Rio, while 104 women will compete in seven weight divisions.

Hosts Brazil have been granted three automatic spots for men and two for women, while six men's places will be decided by the Tripartite Commission Invitation system with four for the women.

That leaves 147 and 98 qualification spots up for grabs in the men's and women's competitions respectively.

The 2014 and 2015 IWF World Championships will provide the bulk of qualification spots for Rio in both genders.

On the men's side, 108 places are available through the World Championships, 31 via Continental qualification events to be held in 2016 and eight spots will be awarded using the Individual Olympic qualification ranking List.

Sixty-seven women's places will be decided at the 2014 and 2015 World Championships, while a Continental qualification event will account for 24 spots and seven via the Olympic qualification ranking List.

The men's competition in Rio will see 156 athletes competing across eight weight categories ©Getty Images The men's competition in Rio will see 156 athletes competing across eight weight categories ©Getty Images

National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are allocated a quota of six male and four female qualification spots for the 2014 and 2015 World Championships.

Only NOCs which have not gained any quota places in the IWF World Championships are eligible to win quota places at the five Continental qualification events taking place in Africa, Asia, Europe, Pan-America and Oceania in 2016.

The location, date and organisers of the Continental qualification events are designated by the IWF and will be finalised by December 31, 2015.

Individual qualification places are allocated to the athletes, ranked in the top 15 (men) and top 10 (women) in each bodyweight category, from NOCs which have not gained any quota places through the 2014 and 2015 IWF World Championships or the Continental qualification events.

These athletes can achieve qualification through the Olympic qualification ranking list based on their performances at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2014 Asian Games, 2015 Junior World Championships, 2015 Pacific Games, 2015 Pan-American Games, 2015 European Games as well as the various IWF Grand Prix events that will be staged up until the qualification deadline of June 20 2016.

The date for NOCs to submit their requests for Tripartite Commission Invitation Places will be confirmed by the IOC in due course.

To view the full qualification criteria document, click here.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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