SOFIA: AIPS Europe and the European Weightlifting Federation presented the Best Weightlifter of the Year awards during the opening ceremony of the European Weightlifting Championships in Sofia.

The EWF expanded the project in 2022 through a strategic partnership with AIPS Europe. The best male and female weightlifters are chosen by the members of AIPS Europe Executive Committee of the European Association of Sports Journalists.

Lasha Talakhadze (+109 kg) from Georgia was named the best male weightlifter for 2023. Second place goes to Karlos Nassar (89 kg) from Bulgaria.

The third place is for Ritvars Suharevs (73 kg) from Latvia. The Top 10 completed Sergio Massida (Italy), Dadash Dadashbayli (Azerbaijan), Varazdat Lalayan (Armenia), David Lopez (Spain), Marin Robu (Moldova), Niko Mueller (Germany) and Romain Imadouchene (France).

Mihaela Valentina Cambei from Romania (49 kg) has been voted the best female weightlifter for 2023. Second place goes to Kamila Konotop (59 kg) from Ukraine. Emily Campbell (+87 kg) from Great Britain was chosen in third place.

The Top 10 completed Marie Josephe Fegue (France), Giulia Miserendino (Italy), Nina Sterckx (Belgium), Anastasia Hotfrid (Georgia), Solfrid Koanda (Norway), Marta Rincon (Spain) and Elena Erighina (Moldova).

The awards for the winners were presented by the AIPS Europe Executive Committee member and President of the Bulgarian Association of Sports Journalists Nayden Todorov.

He welcomed the best weightlifters in Europe to Bulgaria, which has given the world weightlifting family some of the greatest athletes and coaches, a country that has produced 12 Olympic champions and a total of 37 Olympic medalists in weightlifting. He congratulated the athletes and coaches on their achievements and wished them new heights in the 2024 Olympic year.

Nayden Todorov sent greetings and a special message to all the athletes from AIPS Europe President Charles Camenzuli.

The award ceremony was attended by the EWF President Antonio Conflitti and the EWF General Secretary prof. dr. Milan Mihajlovic, who expressed their gratitude to AIPS Europe for the great cooperation.

The traditional EWF Fair Play Trophy goes to AIPS Europe. EWF Executive Board member Alexandru Padure presented the award to the AIPS Europe Executive Committee member Nayden Todorov.