Tokyo Olympics: Weightlifting

  • 01/01/2021

Although weightlifting was contested at the very first Modern Olympics at Paris 1896, it looked very different to the sport that has become such an integral part of today's Games.

All lifters competed against each other, regardless of bodyweight, using one-handed or two-handed lifts.

Weight divisions first appeared at Antwerp 1920, and standard snatch and clean & jerk debuted at Paris 1924, with women's lifting added to the programme at Sydney 2000.

Thirty-three years after their last Olympic involvement, the Soviet Union still lead the weightlifting medal table, with 39 gold and 62 overall, heading off China (31 & 54).

The Chinese dominated competition at Rio 2016, capturing five gold medals, including three of the four heaviest women's divisions. Five world records were broken, with Lu Xiaojun's record performance in the men's 77kg class only good enough for second, behind Kazakhstan's Naijat Rahimov.

Men and women will compete in seven weight classes each, ranging from 61kg to +109kg for men and 49kg to +87kg for women.

Spaniard Lidia Valentin Perez has medalled at the last three Olympics - including gold at London 2012 - in the women's 75kg division and is expected to add to her haul at Tokyo.

New Zealand has sent lifters to 14 Olympics, but has never won a medal.

Our best chance this time probably rests with controversial transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard, who won a 2017 world championship silver medal in the +90kg class.

Among the men, David Liti is the reigning Commonwealth Games champion at +105kg, with a Games record total of 403kg.

NZ Team

Kanah Andrews-Nahu - women's 87kg

Laurel Hubbard - women's +87kg

David Liti - men's +109kg

Cameron McTaggart - men's 81kg

Megan Signal - women's 76kg