The CrossFit team of Jonas Aufdenblatten, left and Anais Lancry, right, competed in a street weightlifting event in Lausanne ©SSW

Weightlifting took to the streets again in the Olympic city of Lausanne at the weekend with a new-look presentation that featured other strength sports, and a CrossFit team taking part alongside weightlifters whose next competition will be the World Championships in September.

There was a public weigh-in, a simplified format with time limits for mixed gender teams to make their lifts, a bench press competition, a 360 kilograms deadlift demonstration, a calisthenics display and a children’s competition during the day of action in a city-centre tourist spot surrounded by terrace restaurants.

Lea-Marie Antonio, an elite junior lifter from France, was enthusiastic because the event "helps people to know what weightlifting is" while Britain’s Sarah Davies, who was on the winning team, said: "It’s cool to have a new concept for weightlifting, make it a little bit more exciting and different.

"A normal weightlifting format can be a little bit boring."

With further enhancements after feedback from Lausanne has been considered, a similar format - perhaps with a new scoring system - will be used next month at JSW2023, a street event in Jamaica that is being promoted by the Pan American Weightlifting Federation.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) was one of the four main sponsors in Lausanne and is committed to supporting innovative ways of making weightlifting attractive and easy to follow for a new audience.

A mixed gender team format with a points-based scoring system across all body weights is being considered as a long-term option for the Youth Olympic Games from 2030.

The teams for the weekend's street weightlifting event in Lausanne ©SSW
The teams for the weekend's street weightlifting event in Lausanne ©SSW

Swiss Streets Weightlifting event organiser Jean-Mark Exhenry said: "The aim is to arrive at a concept within one or two years that we could formalise at IWF level, which we hope could become the format used by the IWF for the Youth Olympic Games.

"It went better than expected in Lausanne, where the athletes loved the atmosphere and friendship, and we received wonderful messages from our partners, the city of Lausanne and the media.

"It was very fast-paced and exciting to watch, especially for people new to weightlifting.

"There's still a long way to go before we have a format that can be used officially in an IWF Street Weightlifting Series around the world.

"But with a lot of respect for criticism and advice, and above all leaving a big place for the athletes in the creation of this new discipline and therefore their future, we're going to make something magnificent for everyone - the sport, the athletes and the public."

In the early stages, the six teams all did their best within a time limit of two minutes for both lifters to make an attempt.

Open air warm-ups proved an attraction for spectators at the street weightlifting event in Lausanne ©SSW
Open air warm-ups proved an attraction for spectators at the street weightlifting event in Lausanne ©SSW

There were two attempts rather than three this stage, in both snatch and clean and jerk, and the best team effort was scored by Robi points.

Teams were classified and the next phase was head-to-head contests - three lifts each this time, and minimum team increases of 7kg in snatch and 10kg in clean and jerk - between those ranked five-six, three-four and one-two.

Mixed international teams finished first and second, Sarah Davies with the Austrian Dominik Certov finishing ahead of Frarer Morrow, also from England, and the Swiss Titouan Verloes.

France finished third, Spain fourth, Switzerland fifth and the CrossFit team - Anais Lancry from France and Jonas Aufdenblatten from Switzerland - were sixth.

The other main sponsors in Lausanne were Torokhtiy (Warm Body, Cold Mind), Crossequip and Morand/Sugiez.

There have been other street events in Bahrain and Cuba this year, and the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF) will hold the first EWF Cup - another new outdoor event - at Ancient Olympia in Greece in October.