LONDON 2012: Olympic Games – Weightlifting

Weightlifting will showcase a test of pure strength – the oldest and most basic form of physical competition.

The aim of Weightlifting is simple: to lift more weight than anyone else, and the result is pure sporting theatre of the most dramatic kind and a real spectator favourite.

Though the sport has sadly had its reputation tarnished in each of the last 10 Olympics, bar 1992 and 1996, by competitors failing drugs tests.

The International Weightlifting Federation has twice changed weight categories and as a result erased all world and Olympic records in an attempt to beat the drugs cheats.

Teenager Zoe Smith is the poster girl of British weightlifting and achieved the Olympic ‘A’ standard twice this year, most notably at the European Championships, where she finished fourth in the lightweight division. A medal would represent a huge, and unexpected, achievement.

China excelled on home soil in 2008 with eight gold medals and added six world titles last year. Kazakhstan’s Ilya Ilin won middle heavyweight gold in Beijing and took the world title last December.

Iranian super heavyweight Behdad Salimikordasiabi has been unstoppable in the last two years, winning back-to-back world titles.


Men’s Weightlifting featured at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, with women’s Weightlifting introduced at Sydney 2000. 

The heaviest individual weight lifted in Olympic competition was achieved by Hossein Rezazadeh of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

At the Athens 2004 Games, Rezazadeh clean-and-jerked 263.5kg – a weight roughly equivalent to five flyweight boxers.


Competitors in Weightlifting are divided into 15 weight categories, eight for men and seven for women. The strongest competitors may lift more than three times their body weight. 

Each event features two types of lift. In the Snatch, the bar is lifted from the floor to above the head in one movement. By contrast, the Clean and Jerk is a two-stage action – the bar is first brought up to the shoulders before being jerked over the head.

Each lifter is allowed three attempts at the Snatch and three attempts at the Clean and Jerk. Their best lift in each is combined to determine their overall result. If an athlete fails to make a valid lift with any of their three attempts in the snatch, they are eliminated. 

When a tie occurs, the athlete with the lower bodyweight is declared the winner. If two athletes lift the same total weight and have the same bodyweight, the winner is the athlete who lifted the total weight first.


Follow all the action from the Olympic Weightlifting competition via one of the BBC’s 24 dedicated BBC Olympics channels (details below).

Commentators: Colin Bryce, Jim Neilly, Non Evans
Full list of BBC Olympics TV presenters/commentators – CLICK HERE


15:30 – Women’s 48kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 12 – 3.25pm-5.40pm
10:00 – Men’s 56kg | Group B
12:30 – Women’s 53kg | Group B
LIVE BBC Olympics 22 – 9.55am-2.10pm
15:30 – Women’s 53kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 22 – 3.25pm-5.40pm
19:00 – Men’s 56kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 22 – 6.55pm-9.10pm
10:00 – Men’s 62kg | Group B
12:30 – Women’s 58kg | Group B
LIVE BBC Olympics 12 – 9.55am-2.10pm
15:30 – Women’s 58kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 12 – 3.25pm-5.40pm
19:00 – Men’s 62kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 12 – 6.55pm-9.10pm
10:00 – Men’s 69kg | Group B
12:30 – Women’s 63kg | Group B
LIVE BBC Olympics 21 – 9.55am-2.10pm
15:30 – Women’s 63kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 21 – 3.25pm-5.40pm
19:00 – Men’s 69kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 8 – 6.55pm-9.10pm
10:00 – Men’s 77kg | Group B
12:30 – Women’s 69kg | Group B
LIVE BBC Olympics 20 – 9.55am-2.10pm
15:30 – Women’s 69kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 20 – 3.25pm-5.40pm
19:00 – Men’s 77kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 9 – 6.55pm-9.10pm
10:00 – Men’s 85kg | Group B
12:30 – Women’s 75kg | Group B
LIVE BBC Olympics 16 – 9.55am-2.10pm
15:30 – Women’s 75kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 16 – 3.25pm-5.40pm
19:00 – Men’s 85kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 6.55pm-9.10pm
15:30 – Men’s 94kg | Group B
LIVE BBC Olympics 20 – 3.25pm-5.40pm
19:00 – Men’s 94kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 9 – 6.55pm-9.10pm
15:30 – Women’s +75kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 3 – 3.25pm-5.40pm
15:30 – Men’s 105kg | Group B
LIVE BBC Olympics 14 – 3.25pm-5.40pm
19:00 – Men’s 105kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 4 – 6.55pm-9.10pm
15:30 – Men’s +105kg | Group B
LIVE BBC Olympics 14 – 3.25pm-5.40pm
19:00 – Men’s +105kg | Group A (MEDALS)
LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 6.55pm-9.10pm

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