The 2021 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Weightlifting Championships held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, have encountered several hurdles with less than a week until its scheduled start on Dec. 7, 2021. Due to the emerging Omicron variant of COVID-19, travel restrictions to and from Uzbekistan have gotten stricter.


Due to the multiple-week-long quarantine requirements to enter Uzbekistan and Omicron variant concerns, Team USA members scheduled to compete at the IWF World Championships may instead appear at the 2021 North American Open Finals (NAOF) in Denver, CO, from Dec. 2-5, 2021.


At the time of this article’s publication, it is unclear which Team USA athletes will compete at which contest, but all Worlds competitors have been added to the 2021 NAOF start list.




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According to the US Department of State, as of June 21, 2021, Uzbekistan has a “level 4 — do not travel” travel advisory due to “an unknown level of COVID-19 in the country.” Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that there have been 193,424 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Uzbekistan between Jan 3, 2020, and Dec. 1, 2021, with 1,406 deaths.


The Chinese national weightlifting team has withdrawn from the 2021 IWF World Championships over COVID-19 concerns. Per insidethegames, the 10-day quarantine required to enter Uzbekistan will prevent 10 more countries from competing, including Great Britain, Australia, and Italy.


2021 North American Open Finals Schedule
The 2021 NAOF will be live-streamed via the USA Weightlifting (USAW) webcast. The 2021 NAOF schedule with start times for each weight category is listed below (all times are MST):


Friday, Dec. 3, 2021
  • Women’s 45KG
    • Pool A — 11:40 a.m.

  • Women’s 49KG
    • Pool B — 8:00 a.m.
    • Pool A — 2:45 p.m.

  • Women’s 55KG
    • Pool E — 8:00 a.m.
    • Pool D — 9:50 a.m.
    • Pool C — 11:40 a.m.
    • Pool B — 1:30 p.m.
    • Pool A — 3:15 p.m.

  • Women’s 59KG
    • Pool E — 9:50 a.m.
    • Pool D — 11:40 a.m.
    • Pool C — 1:30 p.m.
    • Pool B — 3:15 p.m.
    • Pool A — 5:00 p.m.

  • Women’s 64KG
    • Pool F — 7:00 p.m.

  • Men’s 67KG
    • Pool B — 8:00 a.m.
    • Pool A — 6:45 p.m.

  • Men’s 73KG
    • Pool C — 9:50 a.m.
    • Pool B — 5:00 p.m.
    • Pool A — 6:45 p.m.


Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021
  • Women’s 64KG
    • Pool E — 8:00 a.m.
    • Pool D — 9:45 a.m.
    • Pool C — 11:40 a.m.
    • Pool B — 1:30 p.m.
    • Pool A — 3:20 p.m.

  • Women’s 71KG
    • Pool E — 9:45 a.m.
    • Pool D — 11:40 a.m.
    • Pool C — 1:30 p.m.
    • Pool B — 3:20 p.m.
    • Pool A — 5:10 p.m.

  • Men’s 81KG
    • Pool E — 8:00 a.m.
    • Pool D — 11:40 a.m.
    • Pool C — 3:20 p.m.
    • Pool B — 5:10 p.m.
    • Pool A — 7:00 p.m.

  • Men’s 89KG
    • Pool D — 9:45 a.m.
    • Pool C — 1:30 p.m.
    • Pool B — 5:10 p.m.
    • Pool A — 7:00 p.m.

  • Men’s 96KG
    • Pool D — 7:00 p.m.


Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021
  • Women’s 76KG
    • Pool C — 8:00 a.m.
    • Pool B — 9:45 a.m.
    • Pool A — 11:30 a.m.

  • Women’s 87KG
    • Pool B — 1:40 p.m.
    • Pool A — 5:15 p.m.

  • Women’s +87KG
    • Pool B — 3:00 p.m.
    • Pool A — 6:40 p.m.

  • Men’s 96KG
    • Pool C — 8:00 a.m.
    • Pool B — 9:45 a.m.
    • Pool A — 11:30 a.m.

  • Men’s 102KG
    • Pool C — 8:00 a.m.
    • Pool B — 1:15 p.m.
    • Pool A — 3:00 p.m.

  • Men’s 109KG
    • Pool B — 1:15 p.m.
    • Pool A — 5:15 p.m.

  • Men’s +109KG
    • Pool C — 9:45 a.m.
    • Pool B — 5:15 p.m.
    • Pool A — 6:40 p.m.


Day tickets and weekend tickets to the 2021 NAOF are still available via Team USA’s website.


Editor’s Note: BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. The two organizations maintain editorial independence unless otherwise noted on specific content projects.


Featured image: @usa_weightlifting on Instagram




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