Lack of qualifying competitions leaves weightlifter out of Olympics

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Mart Seim. Source: Rene Suurkaev/ERR

2015 world silver medalist weightlifter Mart Seim fell ill with the coronavirus earlier this year and was forced to miss the final competition of the qualifying process. Seim cannot therefore take part in the upcoming Tokyo Summer Olympics in July but is looking ahead to the world championships in fall.

Seim's father and trainer Alar Seim said the weightlifter was just not able to participate in enough competitions. "Initially, the qualification for the Olympics saw three six-month periods, where we had to compete twice in each, which would have left us four out of six competitions to qualify. A couple of days ago, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) made a decision, where the three periods no longer hold importance and four competitions are enough - four results will still be used for qualification," the trainer said.

Since Mart Seim got infected with the coronavirus earlier this year, he could not participate in the European championships, his fourth qualifying competition. "[At the European championships], the sufficient result for qualification would have been 410 kg. The qualification period was extended until the end of May, but we do not have any competitions where we could fulfill the standards again. When Mart got infected with the coronavirus, we asked the IWF for a chance to compete at the junior world championships outside of official consideration. There were proposals by lifting officials to allow us this opportunity, but the IWF gave us a negative response and we have no more options," the trainer said.

Alar Seim believes that if his son could have competed at the European championships, he would have cleared 410 kg and achieved an Olympic ticket. "It would have likely been enough. Eight men qualify for the Olympics based on rating, then another five from each continent and one more on a special permit. That result would have likely been enough to get one of Europe's spots, we would have bested Hungarian Peter Nagy," the trainer said.

Although Mart Seim will not participate in the Tokyo Olympics in late July, the lifter will continue with his rehab and trainings and hopes to step up for the world championships in fall.

"We have been in treatment continuously and it has been daily. The situation is clearly better, but the back will likely never heal. But it held up loads rather well already and the actual form for the European championships was 420+ kg. The world championships will take place in November, which usually does not happen in an Olympic year. We will try and put out our best results there," Alar Seim noted.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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