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Clean the floor at your next trivia night with these records and fun facts about Olympic weightlifting 

We’ve seen many sports come and go at the Summer Olympic Games, but one has, so far, withstood the test of time: Olympic weightlifting (the sport’s status for the 2028 Games remains up in the air, but more on that later). 

At the inaugural 1896 Games in Athens, Greece had a one-handed weightlifting event1 in addition to the two-handed competition. 

Just like the sport itself, the Olympic weightlifting records book has a long and storied history. In this article, we’ll go over its latest chapter to show you who holds the snatch, clean and jerk, and overall total records. 

What Counts as an “Official” Olympic Weightlifting Record?  

For this article, we’re looking at world records recognized by the International Weightlifting Federation, which is the governing body for Olympic weightlifting. There are other weightlifting federations out there and Olympic weightlifting events that aren’t overseen by the IWF, where there may have been heavier lifts than the ones listed here. 

We’ll do our best to let you know of heavier lifts accomplished outside of IWF events. 

It should also be noted that the IWF restructured its weight classes in 1993, 1998, and 20182, each time nullifying prior records. 

A Note on Weight Classes

Olympic weightlifting, like wrestling, is split up into different weight classes to prevent a 150-pound lifter from competing against a 250-pound lifter. 

The weight classes for men are: 55 kg, 61 kg, 67 kg, 73 kg, 81 kg, 89 kg, 96 kg, 102 kg, 109 kg, 109+ kg.

The weight classes for women are: 45 kg, 49 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 64 kg, 71 kg, 76 kg, 81 kg, 87 kg, 87+ kg.

What is the “World Standard”?

There are a few spots on this list where you’ll see “world standard” in lieu of a record holder. In these cases, the IWF has determined3 that lifters in that weight category must exceed a predetermined “world standard” for that lift by at least 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) for it to count as a world record. 

So when you see “world standard,” it’s because nobody has broken that standard as of this writing.

Who Holds the Olympic Weightlifting Record for Men? 

We’ll start off with the men’s Olympic weightlifting records for the snatch, clean and jerk, and overall total, showing the results for each weight class. 

We’ll show you their record, name, the year they were born, country, and when and where they accomplished that record. 

55 kg

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch135 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018
C&J166 kgOm Yun Chol1991North KoreaPattaya – 2019
Total294 kgOm Yun Chol1991North KoreaPattaya – 2019

61 kg

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch145 kgLi Fabin1993ChinaPattaya – 2019
C&J174 kgIrawan Eko Yuli1989IndonesiaAshgabat – 2018
Total318 kgLi Fabin1993ChinaPattaya – 2019

67 kg

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch155 kgHuagn Minhao1992ChinaTokyo – 2019
C&J188 kgPak Jong Ju1997PRKPattaya – 2019
Total339 kgChen Lijun1993ChinaNingbo – 2019

73 kg 

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch169 kgShi Zhiyong1993ChinaTashkent – 2021
C&J198 kgShi Zhiyong1993ChinaTianjin – 2019
Total364 kgShi Zhiyong1993ChinaTokyo – 2021

81 kg

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch175 kgLi Dayin1998ChinaTashkent – 2021
C&J208 kgNasar Karlos May Hasan2004BulgariaTashkent – 2021
Total378 kgLyu Xiaojun1984ChinaPattaya – 2019

89 kg

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch179 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018
C&J217 kgPizzolato Antonino1996ItalyTirana – 2023
Total392 kgPizzolato Antonino1996ItalyTirana – 2023

96 kg 

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch187 kgParedes Montano Lesman1996ColumbiaTashkent – 2021
C&J231 kgTian Tao1994ChinaTokyo – 2019
Total416 kgMoradi Sohrab1988IranAshgabat – 2018

102 kg

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch191 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard
C&J231 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard
Total412 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard

109 kg

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch200 kgYang Zhe1991ChinaTashkent – 2021
C&J241 kgNurudinov Ruslan1991UzbekistanTashkent – 2021
Total435 kgMartirosyan Simon1997ArmeniaAshgabat – 2018

109+ kg

No surprise from the list below, but Georgian super heavyweight Lasha Talakhadze is the king of Olympic weightlifting both on and off the platform. In addition to his certified records, Lasha has an Instagram video in which he can be seen clean and jerking 595 pounds for an unofficial weightlifting world record.  

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch225 kgTalakhadze, Lasha1993GeorgiaTashkent – 2021
C&J267 kgTalakhadze, Lasha1993GeorgiaTashkent – 2021
Total492 kgTalakhadze, Lasha1993GeorgiaTashkent – 2021

Who Holds the Olympic Weightlifting Record for Women? 

Now we’ll go over the Olympic weightlifting records for the women’s weight classes. 

45 kg 

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch85 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard
C&J108 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard
Total191 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard

49 kg

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch96 kgHou Zhihui1997ChinaTashkent – 2021
C&J119 kgMirabai Chanu Saikhom1994IndiaTashkent – 2021
Total213 kgHou Zhihui1997ChinaTashkent – 2021

55 kg 

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch102 kgLi Yajun1993ChinaAshgabat – 2018
C&J129 kgLiao Qiuyun1995ChinaPattaya – 2019
Total227 kgLiao Qiuyun1995ChinaPattaya – 2019

59 kg 

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch110 kgKuo Hsing-Chun1993TaiwanTashkent – 2021
C&J140 kgKuo Hsing-Chun1993TaiwanPattaya – 2019
Total247 kgKuo Hsing-Chun1993TaiwanTashkent – 2021

64 kg 

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch117 kgDeng Wei1993ChinaTianjin – 2019
C&J145 kgDeng Wei1993ChinaPattaya – 2019
Total261 kgDeng Wei1993ChinaPattaya – 2019

71 kg

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch117 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard
C&J152 kgZhang Wangli1996ChinaAshgabat – 2018
Total267 kgZhang Wangli1996ChinaAshgabat – 2018

76 kg 

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch124 kgRim Jong Sim1993PRKPattaya – 2019
C&J156 kgZhang Wangli1996ChinaFuzhou – 2019
Total278 kgRim Jong Sim1993PRKNingbo – 2019

81 kg

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch127 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard
C&J158 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard
Total283 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard

87 kg

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch132 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard
C&J164 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard
Total294 kgWorld Standard2018N/A2018 – World Standard

87+ kg 

Russian lifter Tatiana Kashirina actually set a heavier record at the 2014 IWF World Weightlifting Championships, hoisting a barbell with 155 kg (341.7 pounds) on the snatch and a 193 kg (425.4 pounds) clean and jerk. Shortly after those lifts, however, the IWF restructured its weight classes, which caused a change in the “heaviest” record for both lifts.

LiftRecordNameYear BornCountryLocation-Year
Snatch148 kgLi Wenwen2000ChinaTashkent – 2021
C&J187 kgLi Wenwen2000ChinaTashkent – 2021
Total335 kgLi Wenwen2000ChinaTashkent – 2021

How Long Has Olympic Weightlifting Been in the Olympics?

Olympic weightlifting was a part of the inaugural 1896 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, as well as the 1900 Games in Paris1. The sport would not be seen in the Games again until 1920, and it has been a part of the Summer Games ever since. 

Its status in the 2028 Games, scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, is in doubt due to concerns with the IWF’s governance. The organization has been plagued with allegations of corruption and covering up doping cases, and at one time had three interim presidents3 in as many days. 

The International Olympic Committee, which has the final say on what sports are included in the Winter and Summer Games, has said4 there’s a “pathway” for Olympic weightlifting to be included in the 2028 Games if the IWF addresses the doping allegations and implements a “change of culture” in its leadership4

The IOC will make a final decision in 2023. 

It wasn’t until the 2000 Sydney Games that the Olympics added a women’s Olympic weightlifting event1.

Who Are the Most Successful Olympic Weightlifters? 

According to the Guinness Book of World Records5, Vasily Alekseyev (who at the time was from the Soviet Union) and Bulgarian Naim Süleymanoglu share the title for the most gold medals at the IWF World Championships with 22 each. 

Alekseyev racked up his medals in the now-defunct 110 kg weight class between 1970 and 1977, and Süleymanoglu won his medals in the 60 and 64 kg classes between 1983 and 1995. 

Pyrros Dimas, of Greece, has the most Olympic medals to his name, with three golds and a bronze. Chen Yanqing of China and Hsu Shu-Ching of Taiwan share the women’s Olympic record with two gold medals each1

Who Are the Oldest People to Compete in Olympic Weightlifting?

Belgium’s Tom Geoegebuer set the world record6 for the oldest active Olympic weightlifter at the 2016 Rio Games when he was 41 years old.

The IWF has a masters category7, which is open to anyone 35 years or older. 

References 

  1. Rahul Venkat, Olympics.com, April 2021. Weightlifting in Olympics: Everything you need to know
  2. New Bodyweight categories approved by the IWF Executive Board. International Weightlifting Federation. (2018, July 5). Retrieved December 6, 2023, from 
  3. WR explanation. International Weightlifting Federation RSS 092. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2023
  4. IOC. (2022, May 21). LA28 initial sports programme to be put forward to the IOC session – olympic news. International Olympic Committee. Retrieved December 6, 2023
  5. Most gold medals at the weightlifting IWF World Championships (male). Guinness World Records. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2023
  6. Oliver, B. (2016, August 8). Weightlifting: Veteran Belgian Lifter slams cheats and calls Time. Reuters. Retrieved December 6, 2023

Welcome to IWF-masters weightlifting. Official IWF Masters Site. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2023

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Clean the floor at your next trivia night with these records and fun facts about Olympic weightlifting We’ve seen many sports come and go at the Summer Olympic Games, but one has, so far, withstood the test of time: Olympic weightlifting (the sport’s status for the 2028 Games remains up in the air, but more on that later). At the inaugural 1896 Games in Athens, Greece had a one-handed weightlifting event1 in addition to the two-handed competition.   » Read more about: What Are the Top Olympic Weightlifting Records?  » Read more