MINSK, 1 November (BelTA) - Belarus would like to further the cooperation with the International Weightlifting Federation, primarily in the field of training of coaches and referees, Belarus Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko said as he met with Secretary General of the International Weightlifting Federation Mohamed Hassan Jaloud, BelTA learned from the press service of the government.
“Weightlifting is a popular sport in our country. More than 5,000 people go in for this sport in all regions of Belarus. We are happy to note that more and more women get involved. More than 600 female athletes do weightlifting today. Every year, 35-40 people pass the tests for the master of sport title,” the deputy prime minister said.
The parties discussed the preparations for the main sporting event of four years - the 32nd Summer Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo. “We have certain hopes on our weightlifters. There are reasons for this. Many Belarusian athletes have repeatedly graced international podiums. We have experience, coaching traditions. We do everything necessary to multiply them. Our athletes are ready to compete for medals and make competition tougher and the games more spectacular,” Igor Petrishenko said.
According to him, Belarus is also interested in devising effective and flexible anti-doping programs, strengthening the fight against the use of banned drugs. He expressed the regret that the country cannot win more than one men's and one women's weightlifting licenses. “We took into account the negative experience and learned our lessons. Athletes and coaches who have committed doping have been punished. We respect and accept the decision of the International Weightlifting Federation imposed on our country, but given the fact that in the last two years Belorussian weightlifters have had no problems with doping, we consider it too tough,” the deputy prime minister noted.
Igor Petrishenko also recalled that this year Belarus hosted big multi-sport events: the II European Games, Europe v USA match. “These events were held at a high organizational level, as confirmed by international experts and our guests from different countries. We are ready to host any major weightlifting events and look forward to your assistance," he said.
For his part, Mohamed Hassan Jaloud expressed his conviction that weightlifting is of high standard in Belarus and gets much attention in the country. “I am happy to note that Belarusian weightlifting has been clean in the last two years. I hope that all those problems of the past have been left behind, and there is a productive period of cooperation ahead.”