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EXPLAINER: Weightlifting at Tokyo Olympics

/ 06:51 PM July 06, 2021

Things to know about the weightlifting competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:

THE ABSOLUTE BASICS

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The winners are determined by the total weights of the barbells lifted.

Athletes lift weights in two movements called the ‘snatch’ and ‘clean and jerk’. In the snatch, the barbell is lifted from the floor to above the head in one movement. The clean and jerk is a two-stage motion – the barbell is lifted to the chest before being jerked over the head.

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Lifters compete by performing each lift three times and are scored on the highest combined weight they have lifted.

Lifters compete in different groups depending on their bodyweight.

HOW MANY MEDALS?

There are seven weight classes each for men and women and a total of 14 gold medals are presented.

WHAT HAPPENED IN RIO?

Georgia's Lasha Talakhadze celebrates after winning the Men's +105kg weightlifting competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

Georgia’s Lasha Talakhadze celebrates after winning the Men’s +105kg weightlifting competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. (Photo by GOH Chai Hin / AFP)

China was the dominant nation in weightlifting, winning five golds.

Lasha Talakhadze from Georgia won gold in the men’s super-heavyweights category with a world record total of 473kg.

Hidilyn Diaz from the Philippines became the first woman from the country to win an Olympic medal when she took silver in the 53kg category.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN TOKYO?

Hidilyn Diaz asking for financial support for Tokyo 2020 stint

Hidilyn Diaz, a silver medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics. INQUIRER file photo

Talakhadze is one to watch out for in Tokyo, while the Chinese lifters are likely to be strong again, led by another Olympic champion Shi Zhiyong.

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Spain’s Lidia Valentin Perez, who won bronze in the women’s 75kg category in Rio, after claiming silver in Beijing 2008 and gold at London 2012, will be competing in the 87kg category for the first time.

Hidilyn Diaz will be competing in her fourth Summer Games in the 55kg category. Fellow Filipino bet Elreen Ando qualified for the first time.

WHAT’S NEW?

There were eight bodyweight categories for men and seven for women in Rio. In 2018 the IWF introduced 10 new bodyweight categories for men and women, and at Tokyo 2020 each gender will compete in seven of the 10 categories.

WHEN IS IT HAPPENING?

From July 24 to Aug. 4.

WHERE IS IT HAPPENING?

This picture shows the weightlifting warming-up area at Tokyo International Forum, a venue for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Tokyo on July 7, 2019

This picture shows the weightlifting warming-up area at Tokyo International Forum, a venue for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Tokyo on July 7, 2019. (Photo by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP)

Tokyo International Forum.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Louis Hostin, best French medal winner in his category, lift weight, 15 September 1937. After taking silver in the Light Heavyweight at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, Hostin won two gold medals at the 1932 los Angeles Olympics and 1936 Berlin Olympics

Louis Hostin, best French medal winner in his category, lift weight, 15 September 1937. After taking silver in the Light Heavyweight at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, Hostin won two gold medals at the 1932 los Angeles Olympics and 1936 Berlin Olympics. (Photo by INTERCONTINENTALE / AFP)

Weightlifting started as a competition to lift heavy stones in the ancient world and it was part of the program in the very first Olympics in Athens in 1896.

Athletes competed in the same events regardless of their bodyweights. They were grouped by bodyweights for the first time at the 1920 Games in Antwerp, and two lifting techniques – the snatch and the clean and jerk – were standardized from Montreal 1976. Women’s events were not introduced until the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

WELL FANCY THAT

Athletes lift weights more than twice as heavy as their bodyweight.

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