SINGAPORE - After a 2020 season of event cancellations and postponements owing to Covid-19, Singapore is gearing up for the year by adding another sports event to its calendar after winning the bid to host the 2021 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships.
This is the first time that Singapore will be hosting the prestigious event after it edged out Australia and the United Kingdom for the hosting rights, said the Singapore Weightlifting Federation (SWF) in a press statement on Monday (Jan 25).
The championships are scheduled to be held in October, with Downtown East identified as a possible venue.
More than 300 athletes from over 50 Commonwealth countries are expected to compete in the competition, which is a qualifying event for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK.
The top eight athletes among the Commonwealth countries of each medal event will qualify for next year's Games and athletes can also earn ranking points at the championships.
SWF president Tom Liaw said: "We are very excited and honoured to be given this opportunity to provide a safe environment to allow athletes to compete in these challenging times.
"While our top priority is to ensure the health and safety of all participants, we also hope that this event will enable us to showcase Singapore to weightlifting enthusiasts around the world."
Acknowledging concerns regarding hosting an event during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Liaw said the federation is hoping that the situation will improve before October.
Singapore recently organised e-sports' M2 World Championships and is slated to host golf's HSBC Women's World Championship from April 29 to May 2 and two events in October - the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens and Formula One's Singapore Grand Prix.
Liaw, 59, added: "Since it will be on home ground, we also hope that more Singaporean athletes can qualify for the Commonwealth Games here, instead of having to send them overseas."
Among the Singapore weightlifters at the event is John Cheah, who competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and in 2019 set new national marks in the snatch, clean and jerk, and total for the 96kg weight class.
He said: "I'm very excited to be competing again! It helps me work towards something in training, and it's nice to be finally competing on home soil."