The weightlifting federation of Iceland, established on the 27th of January 1973, celebrates its first European championship title after almost 50 years of operation.
Eygló Fanndal Sturludóttir (b.2001) made a convincing victory in the -71 kg U23 category at the European championship held in Durres, Albania. She exceeded the silver medalist Lara Dancz of Germany by 12 kg and the bronze medalist Vicky Graillot of France by 15kg, making all good lifts, 90kg, 94kg and 97kg in snatch and 114kg, 117kg and 120kg in clean and jerk. Improving her own Icelandic senior records in c&j and total by 4kg.
Eygló a medical student first competed in weightlifting in February 2018 at the age of 17 with a total of 124kg, after being introduced to weightlifting as a recovery from ankle break in gymnastics which she practiced competitively from age of four. She practiced weightlifting and CrossFit until December 2020 when she became a Nordic junior champion in -76kg category with a total of 169kg. That was a turning point where she wanted to take weightlifting more seriously.
She started to work with Ingi Gunnar Ólafsson Iceland’s national head coach in the beginning of 2021 and twelve competitions later their work together has brought home 3 European gold for Iceland for the first time in history. Other notable international performances for Eygló include a 6th place at Europeans U20 2021 with 197kg total, 20th place at IWF world championships 2021 with 202kg total and 9th place at EWF senior championships 2022 with a 205kg total. To see a complete list of her competitions check the Icelandic database.
With a population of approximately 370 thousand people the weightlifting federation has seen considerable growth in the last decade especially in female weightlifting with 60-70 active competitors every year in national competitions. Popularity of CrossFit and world renowned performances of its female athletes have helped introduce Weightlifting to a broader female audience in the country with notable junior and youth performances in recent year on the international scene such as a silver medal for Úlfhildur Arna Unnarsdóttir at EWF U17 in 2022.
Iceland is among the countries that make up the small states of Europe with San Marino, Cyprus, Monaco, Luxembourg and Malta and their annual competition that has been taking place since 1979 will be held in Cyprus the first weekend of November. Eygló plans to compete in Cyprus and then at IWF World Championships in Bogota, Colombia.
The federation of Iceland will also be hosting the Nordic youth and junior weightlifting championships with 106 registered athletes from Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and the Faroe Islands 11th-13th of November.