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 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.
Like the sport, the Olympic weightlifting records book has a long and storied history. This article will review its latest chapter to show 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, the governing body for Olympic weightlifting. There are other weightlifting federations 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 inform you 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
Like wrestling, Olympic weightlifting is split 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” instead 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) to count as a world record.
So when you see “world standard,” nobody has broken that standard as of this writing.
Who Holds The Olympic Weightlifting Record For Men?
We’ll start 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, birth year, country, and when and where they accomplished that record.
|Snatch||135 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018|
|C&J||166 kg||Om Yun Chol||1991||North Korea||Pattaya – 2019|
|Total||294 kg||Om Yun Chol||1991||North Korea||Pattaya – 2019|
|Snatch||145 kg||Li Fabin||1993||China||Pattaya – 2019|
|C&J||174 kg||Irawan Eko Yuli||1989||Indonesia||Ashgabat – 2018|
|Total||318 kg||Li Fabin||1993||China||Pattaya – 2019|
|Snatch||155 kg||Huagn Minhao||1992||China||Tokyo – 2019|
|C&J||188 kg||Pak Jong Ju||1997||PRK||Pattaya – 2019|
|Total||339 kg||Chen Lijun||1993||China||Ningbo – 2019|
|Snatch||169 kg||Shi Zhiyong||1993||China||Tashkent – 2021|
|C&J||198 kg||Shi Zhiyong||1993||China||Tianjin – 2019|
|Total||364 kg||Shi Zhiyong||1993||China||Tokyo – 2021|
|Snatch||175 kg||Li Dayin||1998||China||Tashkent – 2021|
|C&J||208 kg||Nasar Karlos May Hasan||2004||Bulgaria||Tashkent – 2021|
|Total||378 kg||Lyu Xiaojun||1984||China||Pattaya – 2019|
|Snatch||179 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018|
|C&J||217 kg||Pizzolato Antonino||1996||Italy||Tirana – 2023|
|Total||392 kg||Pizzolato Antonino||1996||Italy||Tirana – 2023|
|Snatch||187 kg||Paredes Montano Lesman||1996||Columbia||Tashkent – 2021|
|C&J||231 kg||Tian Tao||1994||China||Tokyo – 2019|
|Total||416 kg||Moradi Sohrab||1988||Iran||Ashgabat – 2018|
|Snatch||191 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
|C&J||231 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
|Total||412 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
|Snatch||200 kg||Yang Zhe||1991||China||Tashkent – 2021|
|C&J||241 kg||Nurudinov Ruslan||1991||Uzbekistan||Tashkent – 2021|
|Total||435 kg||Martirosyan Simon||1997||Armenia||Ashgabat – 2018|
No surprise from the list below, but Georgian super heavyweight Lasha Talakhadze is the king of Olympic weightlifting 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.
|Snatch||225 kg||Talakhadze, Lasha||1993||Georgia||Tashkent – 2021|
|C&J||267 kg||Talakhadze, Lasha||1993||Georgia||Tashkent – 2021|
|Total||492 kg||Talakhadze, Lasha||1993||Georgia||Tashkent – 2021|
Who Holds The Olympic Weightlifting Record For Women?
Now we’ll review the Olympic weightlifting records for the women’s weight classes.
|Snatch||85 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
|C&J||108 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
|Total||191 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
|Snatch||96 kg||Hou Zhihui||1997||China||Tashkent – 2021|
|C&J||119 kg||Mirabai Chanu Saikhom||1994||India||Tashkent – 2021|
|Total||213 kg||Hou Zhihui||1997||China||Tashkent – 2021|
|Snatch||102 kg||Li Yajun||1993||China||Ashgabat – 2018|
|C&J||129 kg||Liao Qiuyun||1995||China||Pattaya – 2019|
|Total||227 kg||Liao Qiuyun||1995||China||Pattaya – 2019|
|Snatch||110 kg||Kuo Hsing-Chun||1993||Taiwan||Tashkent – 2021|
|C&J||140 kg||Kuo Hsing-Chun||1993||Taiwan||Pattaya – 2019|
|Total||247 kg||Kuo Hsing-Chun||1993||Taiwan||Tashkent – 2021|
|Snatch||117 kg||Deng Wei||1993||China||Tianjin – 2019|
|C&J||145 kg||Deng Wei||1993||China||Pattaya – 2019|
|Total||261 kg||Deng Wei||1993||China||Pattaya – 2019|
|Snatch||117 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
|C&J||152 kg||Zhang Wangli||1996||China||Ashgabat – 2018|
|Total||267 kg||Zhang Wangli||1996||China||Ashgabat – 2018|
|Snatch||124 kg||Rim Jong Sim||1993||PRK||Pattaya – 2019|
|C&J||156 kg||Zhang Wangli||1996||China||Fuzhou – 2019|
|Total||278 kg||Rim Jong Sim||1993||PRK||Ningbo – 2019|
|Snatch||127 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
|C&J||158 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
|Total||283 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
|Snatch||132 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
|C&J||164 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
|Total||294 kg||World Standard||2018||N/A||2018 – World Standard|
Russian lifter Tatiana Kashirina 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.
|Snatch||148 kg||Li Wenwen||2000||China||Tashkent – 2021|
|C&J||187 kg||Li Wenwen||2000||China||Tashkent – 2021|
|Total||335 kg||Li Wenwen||2000||China||Tashkent – 2021|
How Long Has Olympic Weightlifting Been In The Olympics?
Olympic weightlifting was a part of the inaugural 1896 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and 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 in Los Angeles, is doubtful 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, 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. The IWF has a masters category7, which is open to anyone 35 years or older.
Our friends at Garage Gym Reviews first published and shared this article.
- Rahul Venkat, Olympics.com, April 2021. Weightlifting in Olympics: Everything you need to know
- New Bodyweight categories approved by the IWF Executive Board. International Weightlifting Federation. (2018, July 5). Retrieved December 6, 2023, from
- WR explanation. International Weightlifting Federation RSS 092. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2023
- 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
- Most gold medals at the weightlifting IWF World Championships (male). Guinness World Records. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2023
- Oliver, B. (2016, August 8). Weightlifting: Veteran Belgian Lifter slams cheats and calls Time. Reuters. Retrieved December 6, 2023