Video Technology For Weightlifting

weightliftingWeightlifting is to introduce video technology after a series of controversial results in recent international competitions.

This comes after potential winners at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow were denied gold medals by judging errors, while disputes have also occurred at the recent Asian Games in Incheon and other major events.

Three cameras will be used, positioned to give views from the judges’ line of sight, and when video evidence is needed, it will be used quickly.

The cameras will be used from next year, when the first international competition is the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Youth World Championships in Lima, Peru, in April.

The move is similar to that taken by FIFA when, at this year’s World Cup, they accepted the use of cameras to determine whether the ball had crossed the goalline.

In other changes, the IWF has adopted a new logo to modernise its corporate identity, and has agreed to spend more than one fifth of its annual budget on anti-doping measures.

The latest judging error, in an otherwise highly successful weightlifting programme at Glasgow 2014 in July, cost Australian Simplice Ribouem a gold medal.

Steven Kari, from Papua New Guinea, touched his knee with his elbow during his last, decisive lift, making it illegal. The attempt was originally declared a no-lift, leaving Ribouem in first place, but after a review the jury of appeal reversed that decision, declared the lift good, and gave gold to Kari.

Television pictures later found this was the wrong decision, but under current rules, officials had no access to them, so it remained unchanged.

An even bigger controversy came at Athens 2004, in the women’s super-heavyweight class.

South Korea’s Jang Mi-ran, the future Olympic champion in Beijing, was left in second place when a clean-and-jerk world record attempt by Tang Gonghong, of China, was approved by the judges.

It was considered a poor decision, as Tang was not fully in control of the bar, nor static.

Sam Coffa, vice-president of the IWF and chairman of its technical committee, has now declared that “enough is enough”.

“I used to be against the use of video technology, but now I’m convinced it’s a necessity,” he announced during the IWF Congress in Almaty, held alongside the World Championships which ended yesterday in the Kazakhstan city.

“I have seen gold medals being awarded to the wrong athlete, and that decision in Glasgow was atrocious. — Insidethegames

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