Weightlifting at the 2016 Summer Olympics

Dates 6 – 16 August 2016
Medal Events 15

Weightlifting is one of the original nine sports contested in the first modern Summer Olympics in 1896, first as a men’s only sport which included two contests, the one-hand lift and two-hand lift. Now evolved to the snatch and clean and jerk, there are 15 different weight classes, eight for men and seven for women, who joined the Olympic programme in 2000.

The weightlifting competition at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro took place from 6 to 16 August at the newly constructed Pavilion 2 of the Riocentro facility which spanned 7500 sq. meters with a seating capacity of 6,500. In total, Riocentro housed four Pavilions that were used in Olympic competitions; in addition to weightlifting, the facility hosted badminton, table tennis, and boxing.

Similar to the competition format for weightlifting at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, a total of 260 athletes (156 men and 104 women) qualified through a combination of national team and individual spots. In reality, 152 men and 103 women from 20 countries competed at Rio 2016 because Serbia rejected reallocation; Cypress, Taipei and Poland were affected by adverse analytical findings (AAF) with their national doping programme and/or the International Olympic Committee.

The host nation of Brazil had three guaranteed automatic places for men and two for women, while 10 spots (six for men, four for women) were entitled to the athletes through the Tripartite Commission Invitation (which allocates spots to countries with less than eight athletes in individual sports or disciplines at the last two editions of the Olympic Games) - leaving the remaining berths up for grabs in both the men’s and women’s competitions respectively. Two countries were excluded from participating in the sport due to multiple doping cases. The Bulgarian team was banned for the widespread doping of eight men and three women at a training camp for the 2015 European Championships; and Russia’s team was prohibited from competing at Rio 2016 for bringing the sport into disrepute with their state-run doping programme.

Marshall Islands and Malta made their Olympic weightlifting début in Rio.

Seven weightlifters carried their nations flag in the Opening Ceremony and three in the Closing Ceremony.

Of all the weightlifters competing at Rio 2016, nine men and 10 women had competed previously at the Youth Olympic Games.

The youngest weightlifter was 16-year-old Fatima Hirech of Algeria, and the oldest was 41-year-old Tom Goegebuer of Belgium.

As the sport has evolved over the years, it was a first to have a track camera in front of the stage.

Team China, the top medal winning nation at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, lead the medal count at Rio 2016 with seven medals (five gold, two silver). Kazakhstan, which placed second overall in 2012 with four gold medals, had 10 athletes qualify for 2016, but were stripped by the International Weightlifting Federation of one male and one female spot due to multiple positive cases of doping. With a team of five men and three women in Rio, Kazakhstan won six medals (one gold, one silver, four bronze), to finish second in the total medal count in weightlifting. Thailand surprisingly won four medals (two gold, one silver, one bronze) to finish third in the Games medal count.

A total of 28 records were set – nine world records (seven men, two women) and 19 Olympic records (12 men, seven women).

There were four athletes with Games-time positive doping tests: Ösökhbayaryn Chagnaadorj of Mongolia, Izzat Artykov of Kyrgyzstan, Gabriel Sîncrăian of Romania and Tomasz Zieliński of Poland in pre-competition testing.


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Bantamweight (≤56 kilograms), Men Olympic 7 August 2016 19 17
Featherweight (≤62 kilograms), Men Olympic 8 August 2016 17 15
Lightweight (≤69 kilograms), Men Olympic 9 August 2016 21 18
Middleweight (≤77 kilograms), Men Olympic 10 August 2016 14 13
Light-Heavyweight (≤85 kilograms), Men Olympic 12 August 2016 23 21
Middle-Heavyweight (≤94 kilograms), Men Olympic 13 August 2016 18 15
Heavyweight (≤105 kilograms), Men Olympic 15 August 2016 17 15
Super-Heavyweight (>105 kilograms), Men Olympic 16 August 2016 23 19
Flyweight (≤48 kilograms), Women Olympic 6 August 2016 12 12
Featherweight (≤53 kilograms), Women Olympic 7 August 2016 13 13
Lightweight (≤58 kilograms), Women Olympic 8 August 2016 16 15
Middleweight (≤63 kilograms), Women Olympic 9 August 2016 14 14
Light-Heavyweight (≤69 kilograms), Women Olympic 10 August 2016 17 16
Heavyweight (≤75 kilograms), Women Olympic 12 August 2016 15 15
Super-Heavyweight (>75 kilograms), Women Olympic 14 August 2016 16 14
255 (152/103) 92 (80/62)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Bantamweight, Men Long QingquanCHN Om Yun-CholPRK Sinphet KruaithongTHA
Featherweight, Men Óscar FigueroaCOL Eko Yuli IrawanINA Farkhad KharkiKAZ
Lightweight, Men Shi ZhiyongCHN Daniyar İsmayilovTUR Luis Javier MosqueraCOL
Middleweight, Men Lu XiaojunCHN Mohamed IhabEGY
Light-Heavyweight, Men Kianoush RostamiIRI Tian TaoCHN Denis UlanovKAZ
Middle-Heavyweight, Men Sohrab MoradiIRI Vadzim StraltsouBLR Aurimas DidžbalisLTU
Heavyweight, Men Ruslan NurudinovUZB Simon MartirosyanARM Aleksandr ZaychikovKAZ
Super-Heavyweight, Men Lasha TalakhadzeGEO Gor MinasyanARM Irak'li TurmanidzeGEO
Flyweight, Women Sopita TanasanTHA Sri Wahyuni AgustianiINA Hiromi MiyakeJPN
Featherweight, Women Hsu Shu-ChingTPE Hidilyn DiazPHI Yun Jin-HuiKOR
Lightweight, Women Sukanya SrisuratTHA Pimsiri SirikaewTHA Kuo Hsing-ChunTPE
Middleweight, Women Deng WeiCHN Choe Hyo-SimPRK Karina GorichevaKAZ
Light-Heavyweight, Women Xiang YanmeiCHN Zhazira ZhapparkulKAZ Sara SamirEGY
Heavyweight, Women Rim Jong-SimPRK Daria NavumavaBLR Lydia ValentínESP
Super-Heavyweight, Women Meng SupingCHN Kim Kuk-HyangPRK Sarah RoblesUSA

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
People's Republic of China CHN 5 2 0 7
Thailand THA 2 1 1 4
Islamic Republic of Iran IRI 2 0 0 2
Democratic People's Republic of Korea PRK 1 3 0 4
Chinese Taipei TPE 1 0 1 2
Colombia COL 1 0 1 2
Georgia GEO 1 0 1 2
Uzbekistan UZB 1 0 0 1
Armenia ARM 0 2 0 2
Belarus BLR 0 2 0 2
Indonesia INA 0 2 0 2
Kazakhstan KAZ 0 1 4 5
Philippines PHI 0 1 0 1
Türkiye TUR 0 1 0 1
Egypt EGY 0 0 2 2
Japan JPN 0 0 1 1
Lithuania LTU 0 0 1 1
Republic of Korea KOR 0 0 1 1
Spain ESP 0 0 1 1
United States USA 0 0 1 1