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Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide

olympic weightlifting

Since 1896 has become an exciting show of human power and dedication.

Olympic Weightlifting is one of the most exciting sports to watch because it embodies the depths of human power and grit.

Weightlifters are used to lifting twice or even three times their body weight in a sport that is as much about technique as it is about sheer strength. A single incorrect lift might result in several injuries.

The current form of a sport with origins in Africa, South Asia, and ancient Greece emerged in the nineteenth century.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), the world’s regulatory weightlifting organization, was founded in 1905 and hosted the Weightlifting World Championships for both men and women every year except for an Olympic year.

While the name of the sport is self-explanatory, it is more challenging than crowning a champion among those who have lifted enormous weights.

Olympic Weightlifting rules and scoring

In contemporary Olympic weightlifting, there are two stages: snatch and clean and jerk.

The snatch is a single action in which the weightlifter takes up the barbell and raises it over his head.

The clean and jerk require the weightlifter first to pick up the barbell and bring it up to his chest (clean). The lifter must stop and stretch his arms and legs before jerking it over the head with a straight elbow and holding it until a buzzer sounds.

Each weightlifter receives three snatch attempts and three clean and jerk attempts. The best snatch and clean and jerk attempts of each weightlifter are totaled together, and the one with the most significant combined weight lifted is proclaimed the champion.

If two competitors lift the same total weight, the one with the lowest body weight is considered the winner. If the body weight equals, the one who makes the fewest tries wins.

Following a successful lift, a competitor may raise the weight for his next try. In any competition, the person who chose to lift the lightest weight on the first try is permitted to go first, and he must attempt to lift within one minute of his name being called out. Olympic weightlifting

The barbell is composed of steel, and the hefty weights are attached to the sides with rubber covers.

Weightlifters are permitted to use tape to protect vulnerable areas of their bodies, such as their wrists and thumbs. They also often apply chalk on their hands before a lift to prevent the barbell from sliding.

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Olympic Weightlifting in the Games

Olympic Weightlifting had an early link with the current Olympic Games. It was featured in the first edition of track and field athletics in Athens, Greece, in 1896 as part of the field events.

Lifting with one hand and two hands were events at the 1896 Olympics. Launceston Elliot of the United Kingdom was named ‘one-hand’ champion, while Viggo Jensen of Denmark became the first ‘two-hand’ Olympic weightlifting winner.

On the other hand, Olympic Weightlifting was barred from the 1904, 1908, and 1912 Olympics until making a return in the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, where it has remained ever since.

Following the 1924 Paris Olympics, the one-hand event was discontinued.

Previously, Olympic weightlifting contained the ‘clean and press,’ snatch, and clean and jerk events. However, beginning with the 1972 Munich Olympics, the clean and press – a three-step variant of the clean and jerk – was eliminated owing to the difficulties in assessing weightlifters’ methods.

At the 1920 Olympics, weight categories ranging from 60kg to 82.5kg were established.

The lowest weight category (52kg) was introduced in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, along with the most significant weight category (+110 kg).

While the sport was previously designated for males solely in the Olympic weightlifting, a women’s weightlifting event was added for the first time at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Karnam Malleswari became the first and only Indian weightlifter to win an Olympic weightlifting bronze medal in the 69kg division at that event.

Karnam Malleswari was also the first Indian female Olympic medalist.

Olympic weightlifters with the most success

Pyrros Dimas of Greece is the most successful Olympian among male weightlifters, having won three gold medals and a bronze medal in different years in the 82.5/83/85 kg divisions.

Akakios Kakiasvilis of Greece, Halil Mutlu, and Naim Suleymanoglu of Turkey have all won three Olympic gold medals.

Chen Yanqing (58kg) from China and Hsu Shu-Ching (53 kilograms) from South Korea is the most successful women weightlifters in the Olympics, each winning two gold medals. You can read more on sports update.

Olympic records in weightlifting

Here are the Olympic weightlifting records.

Category, weight, name, country, and Games edition:

Men \s56kg

Halil Mutlu (TUR) – Snatch – 137kg – Sydney 2000

170kg Clean & Jerk – Long Qingquan (CHN) – Rio 2016

307kg total – Long Qingquan (CHN) – Rio 2016


Kim Un-Guk (PRK) – Snatch – 153kg – London 2012

177kg Clean & Jerk – Oscar Figueroa (COL) – London 2012

Kim Un-Guk (PRK) – 327kg – London 2012


Georgi Markov (BUL) – Snatch – 165kg – Sydney 2000

196kg Clean & Jerk – Galabin Boevski (BUL) – Sydney 2000

Galabin Boevski (BUL) – 357kg – Sydney 2000


Lyu Xiaojun (CHN) – Snatch – 177kg – Rio 2016

Nijat Rahimov (KAZ) – Clean & Jerk – 214kg – Rio 2016

Lu Xiaojun (CHN) – 379kg – London 2012


180kg Snatch – George Asanidze (GEO) – Sydney 2000

Tian Tao (CHN) – 217 kg – Clean & Jerk – Rio 2016

396 kg total – Kianoush Rostami (IRI) – Rio 2016


Snatch weighs 187kg. IRI’s Kourosh Bagheri – Sydney 2000

Szymon Kolecki (POL) Clean & Jerk 224kg Beijing 2008

Milen Dobrev (BUL) – Athens 2004 – Total – 407kg


Andrei Aramnau (BLR) – Snatch – 200kg – Beijing 2008

237kg Clean & Jerk – Ruslan Nurudinov (UZB) – Rio 2016

436kg total – Andrei Aramnau (BLR) – Beijing 2008


Behdad Salimi Kordasiabi (IRI) – Snatch – 216kg – Rio 2016

Hossein Rezazadeh (IRI) – Athens 2004 – Clean & Jerk – 263kg

473kg total – Lasha Talakhadze (GEO) – Rio 2016

Women \s48kg

Nurcan Taylan (TUR) – Snatch – 97kg – Athens 2004

Chen Xiexia (CHN) – Beijing 2008 – Clean & Jerk – 117kg

212kg total – Chen Xiexia (CHN) – Beijing 2008


Li Yajun (CHN) – Snatch – 101kg – Rio 2016

Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon (THA) – Beijing 2008 – Clean & Jerk – 126kg

Yang Xia (CHN) – Sydney 2000 – Total 225kg


Sukanya Srisurat (THA) – 110kg – Rio 2016

Chen Yanqing (CHN) – Beijing 2008 – Clean & Jerk – 138kg

Li Xueying (CHN) – 246kg – London 2012


Hanna Batsiushka (BLR) – Snatch – 115kg – Athens 2004

Deng Wei (CHN) – Clean & Jerk – 147kg – Rio 2016

Deng Wei (CHN) – Total – 262kg – Rio 2016


128kg Snatch – Liu Chunhong (CHN) – Beijing 2008

158kg Clean & Jerk – Liu Chunhong (CHN) – Beijing 2008

286kg total – Liu Chunhong (CHN) – Beijing 2008


Cao Lei (CHN) – Beijing 2008 – Snatch – 128kg

Cao Lei (CHN) – Beijing 2008 – Clean & Jerk – 154kg

Cao Lei (CHN) – Beijing 2008 – Total – 282kg


Tatiana Kashirina (RUS) – Snatch – 151kg – London 2012

Zhou Lulu (CHN) – 187kg – Clean & Jerk – London 2012

Zhou Lulu (CHN) – London 2012 – Total 333kg

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