Competitive Kuwaiti women weightlifters break social norms

The Kuwaiti women’s weightlifting team and coaches. — KUNA

Kuwaiti women have broken yet another social “glass ceiling” by entering the world of weightlifting, competing successfully in various tournaments both here and abroad. The Kuwaiti women weightlifting federation, established in September, managed to take its team of 24 athletes to several international tournaments in a step declaring that Kuwaiti women weightlifters are ready and able to compete.

Speaking to KUNA on their experiences, several women athletes displayed enthusiasm and willingness to conquer their respective sport. Tefool Hassan, an under 49-kg competitor, revealed that she came to the sport after being introduced to CrossFit some years ago. She indicated that CrossFit included weightlifting routines, which helped her to transition smoothly to weightlifting. Hassan affirmed that the more weight she lifted, the more she wanted to improve under the guidance of her coaches and encouragement of teammates. She added that she is looking forward to the Arab tournament in Tunisia in December and the GCC championship in January.

In similar statements, Nour Al-Awadhi – an under 64-kg weightlifter – said Kuwaiti society has become more accepting of the idea of female weightlifters. On the historical record of women weightlifting, Awadhi said women had to wait until the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney to compete in the sport, while their male counterparts were competing since 1896. Awadhi indicated that Kuwaiti women are eager to represent the country in global tournaments, stressing that their performance will improve with support and encouragement from the federation, families and society.
Under 71-kg competitor Dalal Al-Shatti pointed out that she had to go through several sports before settling on weightlifting. Sports in general should be available to all with no gender, age or ability restrictions, she affirmed.

Kuwaiti Weightlifting Federation Chairman Talal Al-Jassar said forming a women’s team was a historic step for Kuwaiti sports, affirming that the move was in compliance with international regulations. In the forthcoming period, Kuwaiti women weightlifting will be pushed forward with training camps and international participations to hone the athletes’ skills and improve their competitive spirit both mentally and physically.

On the technical level, Coach Hussain Saeed said the team members are displaying a progressive level of commitment to the sport. He added that women weightlifters in Kuwait are developing rapidly, citing the first women’s weightlifting competition in October as evidence. – KUNA