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Weightlifting

The ultimate test of strength, where the athlete attempts a maximum-weight single lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates. There are two weightlifting techniques: the snatch and the clean and jerk. The snatch involves lifting 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, then lifting it above the head.  The athletes have three attempts to perform each technique. The combined score from the best snatch and the best clean and jerk for each lifter are added together to determine the final score. 

Athletes are categorised by weight with eight categories for men and eight for women. The success of an athlete is largely dependent on their power, but there is also a focus on technique, speed, timing, balance and flexibility. 

Quick Facts

  • The origin of weightlifting dates back to ancient times in countries such as Greece, where they were seen as the ultimate test of male strength
  • The first weightlifting world championships took place in England in 1891
  • Athletes can lift up to three times their body weight during competition
  • In the men’s competition, the barbell weighs 20kg. In the women’s it weights 15kg

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