Russia views hosting 2020 European Weightlifting Championship next April in Moscow

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MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. The Russian Weightlifting Federation (RWF) plans to host the 2020 European Weightlifting Championship in Moscow in the first ten days of April next year, RWF President Maxim Agapitov told TASS on Friday.

Russia was granted the right to host the 2020 European Weightlifting Championship after the voting in October 2018.

“We have to set now the exact dates for holding the European Weightlifting Championship,” Agapitov said in an interview with TASS. “I believe that the tournament should be organized in the first ten days of April next year.”

“Today at the Congress of the European Weightlifting Federation, we [RWF] delivered a presentation regarding our vision of the European Championship’s organization, the venue and hotels, which will be accommodating the participants of the tournament as well as officials and guests,” the RWF president said.

The 2019 European Championships is scheduled to be held in Batumi, Georgia. Russia was the host of the European Weightlifting Championship tournament in 2011, when it was organized in the city of Kazan. Moscow previously hosted the European Weightlifting Championship only once and it was back in 1983.

Agapitov added that the European Weightlifting Championship in Moscow would also be the qualifying tournament for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo and this is why the Russian capital expects to see the strongest international weightlifters next April.

“We have invited all national weightlifting federations not only to attend the European championships, but also to join the celebration of the 135th anniversary of our [IWF] federation, which was founded in 1885,” Agapitov stated.

The president of the Russian Weightlifting Federation also said he hoped to see the Ukrainian national team participating in the championship next year in the Russian capital.

“Our doors are always open and are equally welcoming with a warm reception in Moscow representatives of all national federations,” Agapitov continued. “However, everyone reserves the right whether to participate in the tournament or not.”

“I have an impression based on my recent talks with people from the national federation [of Ukraine] that they are very glad for us and support us in all senses,” Agapitov said. “However, anything can happen when high-level politics interferes.”

“It will not depend on us if it happens. Everyone is excited and is ready to compete, but I may repeat that the politics may interfere,” the RWF chief added. “We hope that everything would turn out right.”

In March 2018, Ukrainian Sports Minister Igor Zhdanov issued an official directive banning national athletes from participating in all sports competitions held on the territory of Russia. A document signed by Zhdanov on March 14, 2018, stated that athletes of Ukrainian national sports teams had been banned not only from participating in Russia-hosted competitions, but travelling to Russia for training camps as well.

Next month, the Ukrainian Ministry of Youth and Sports announced that it canceled its previous directive to prohibit national athletes from taking part in all sports competitions, including international tournaments, held on the territory of Russia. The ministry added, however, that athletes going to the neighboring country would not receive financial support from the state budget.

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