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A new world

Weightlifting

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The ultimate test of strength, athletes can lift up to three times their body weight. Weightlifting was part of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, with women joining in at Sydney 2000. There are eight men’s and eight women’s events.
Spectator's Guide - Weightlifting
  • Weightlifting

Countries

Athletes

Events

93 258 15

Schedule & Results

Schedule & Results

Weightlifting

Select the time zone:
Rio Time
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August21
Date Event Status
  • WRWorld Record
  • OROlympic Record

About

About

Aim of the game

The ultimate test of strength, athletes compete by lifting a steel bar loaded with weights over their heads – the one who lifts the most being the winner

Why should you watch this?

Just as the 100m sprint defines the world’s fastest athletes, so weightlifting identifies the world’s strongest. Demanding vast amounts of power, technique and determination, this is a sport that pushes the human body to its limits

International Federation

IWF

Olympic debut

Athens 1896

Rules
  • Collars

    Collars

    Metal components used for fixing the weights on the bar, they weigh 2.5kg

  • Weigh-in

    Weigh-in

    A procedure conducted two hours prior to competition to ensure that competitors are within the reference body weight for their event

  • Press-out

    Press-out

    Illegal movement in which the athlete does not fully extend the arms (elbows not ‘locked out’) when the bar is raised above the head, and the lift is finished by further extending the arms

Impress your friends

  • Weightlifting competitions have been held since ancient times in countries such as Greece and Egypt, where they were seen as the ultimate tests of male strength

    Weightlifting competitions have been held since ancient times in countries such as Greece and Egypt, where they were seen as the ultimate tests of male strength

  • The first weightlifting world championships took place in England in 1891, and were disputed by seven athletes from six countries

    The first weightlifting world championships took place in England in 1891, and were disputed by seven athletes from six countries

  • Weightlifting was part of the gymnastics programme when it was first included in the modern Olympic programme at the Athens 1896 Games. The women's competition first appeared at Sydney 2000

    Weightlifting was part of the gymnastics programme when it was first included in the modern Olympic programme at the Athens 1896 Games. The women's competition first appeared at Sydney 2000

  • At Sydney 2000, Iranian Hossein Rezazadeh lifted 472kg to end the supremacy of the former Soviet states in the 105kg+ class and break the Olympic and world records

    At Sydney 2000, Iranian Hossein Rezazadeh lifted 472kg to end the supremacy of the former Soviet states in the 105kg+ class and break the Olympic and world records

  • Also at Sydney 2000, Karnam Malleswari became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal, taking bronze in the 69kg category

    Also at Sydney 2000, Karnam Malleswari became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal, taking bronze in the 69kg category

  • At the London 2012 Games, 33 Olympic weightlifting records were broken by athletes from Kazakhstan, China, Colombia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Russia

    At the London 2012 Games, 33 Olympic weightlifting records were broken by athletes from Kazakhstan, China, Colombia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Russia

  • With three gold medals and one bronze, won between Barcelona 1992 and Athens 2004, Greece’s Pyrros Dimas is the athlete with the most Olympic weightlifting medals

    With three gold medals and one bronze, won between Barcelona 1992 and Athens 2004, Greece’s Pyrros Dimas is the athlete with the most Olympic weightlifting medals

  • Naim Suleymanoglu is only 1.47m tall but achieved the first of his world records aged 16 and has won three Olympic titles – plus the nickname ‘Pocket Hercules’

    Naim Suleymanoglu is only 1.47m tall but achieved the first of his world records aged 16 and has won three Olympic titles – plus the nickname ‘Pocket Hercules’

  • Chinese athletes Chen Yanqing and Liu Chunhong are the only women to have won Olympic weightlifting gold medals twice

    Chinese athletes Chen Yanqing and Liu Chunhong are the only women to have won Olympic weightlifting gold medals twice

  • Athletes can lift up to three times their body weight during competition

    Athletes can lift up to three times their body weight during competition

  • The weights used are colour-coded to indicate their weight

    The weights used are colour-coded to indicate their weight

  • Athletes wear a special weightlifting belt to improve performance and prevent injury

    Athletes wear a special weightlifting belt to improve performance and prevent injury

Techniques

There are two weightlifting techniques: the ‘snatch’ and the ‘clean and jerk’, both of which comprise the Olympic event.

The snatch entails lifting the bar directly from the floor above the head in a single movement.

The clean and jerk is a two-stage movement, lifting the bar from the ground to shoulder height, and then lifting it above the head.

Each athlete is allowed three attempts to perform each technique and the final score is the combined total of the highest two successful attempts.

Weights

The weights placed on the extremities of the bar determine the weight lifted by the competitor. Between one successful attempt and another, the weight is increased by at least 1kg.

Bar

In the men’s competition, the bar is 2.2m long and weighs 20kg. For women, it is 2.01m long and weighs 15kg.

Athletes

Athletes & Teams

Gender

Gender
Woman 40
Men 60
Women
Men

Age Range

Age Range
Under 15 0
16 - 20 13
21 - 25 47
26 - 30 32
31 - 40 8
Over 40 0
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