EXPLAINER: Weightlifting at Tokyo Olympics
Things to know about the weightlifting competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:
THE ABSOLUTE BASICS
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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?
Tokyo International Forum.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
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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