The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Executive Board has today approved the 10 new bodyweight categories for both men and women here.
The 10 men's categories are 55 kilograms, 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 81kg, 89kg, 96kg, 102kg, 109kg and over-109kg, while the 10 women's are 45kg, 49kg, 55kg, 59kg, 64kg, 71kg, 76kg, 81kg, 87kg and over-87kg.
These will apply to juniors and seniors.
The youth bodyweight categories for men are 49kg, 55kg, 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 81kg, 89kg, 96kg, 102kg and over-102kg, while those for women are 40kg, 45kg, 49kg, 55kg, 59kg, 64kg, 71kg, 76kg, 81kg and over-81kg.
The 10 categories mark an increase on the eight previously used for both genders at IWF events.
They will now be submitted to the IWF Congress, which is scheduled to take place here tomorrow, for ratification.
Seven of the men's categories and seven of the women's were also approved for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The men's are 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 81kg, 96kg, 109kg and over-109kg, while the women's are 49kg, 55kg, 59kg, 64kg, 76kg, 87kg and over-87kg.
The new categories will be implemented into the revised Tokyo 2020 qualification system, which has the principle aim of "protecting clean sport".
Under the system, athletes will be tested far more often than in the past as they must compete at least six times in the 18-month qualifying period that starts on November 1.
The new official bodyweight categories for Olympic weightlifting. pic.twitter.com/VppHfQCUc9— IWF (@iwfnet) July 5, 2018
The IWF begun the final phase of determining the 10 new men's and women's bodyweight categories early last month, following a two-day meeting of the IWF Bodyweight Categories Working Group in Budapest.
It is hoped they will provide greater athletic opportunities, improve inclusivity and enhance competition.
The Working Group was composed of members of the IWF Sport Programme Commission and two representatives from each of the three elected IWF Committees appointed by their respective chair.
It reviewed the wide-range of proposals which had been submitted by the IWF’s stakeholders and also conducted its own comprehensive research.
The decision to increase the bodyweight portfolio from eight men’s and women’s categories to 10 was taken by the IWF Executive Board in November 2017.
The Working Group finalised its proposal on the 10 categories in each gender, drawing on a number of different factors and using scientific and statistical evidence.
The categories have remained the same for more than 20 years but have been changed before, most notably in 1973 and 1993.
USA Weightlifting chief executive Phil Andrews described today's announcement as a significant moment in weightlifting's history.
"Ten categories I think gives domestic federations and the IWF more opportunities to grow the sport and it’s a new game, it’s a new day, it’s a new beginning for our sport," he told insidethegames.
"Congratulations to the IWF and the Executive Board for putting in a lot of effort to make it happen."
Andrews said he expects there to be mixed reaction to the announcement.
"Of course there will be winners and losers," he added.
"In the US (United States), the lowest category, the 45kg for the women, for example, we’re not going to have too many people that can fit that category.
"But in Vietnam, where they’re often entering people into the 48kg category now, the 45kg will probably be very advantageous and the same thing for Thailand.
"So I think you just have to take it as a worldwide rule.
"Equally, it’s going to be more beneficial for us up at the top end and for Vietnam and Thailand less so.
"You have to look at this more worldwide view and you have to look at it from an overall stand point.
"Some athletes will lose, some athletes will gain.
"Some countries will lose, some countries will gain.
"Overall, I think it’s a pretty fair set of categories.
"I like the outcome and some of our athletes in the US will and some of the athletes in the US will not."