Origin of the sport

Over many millenniums humans have been engaged in tests of strength and power. The earliest evidence of weightlifting took place with the Chinese Zhou dynasty from the 10th century BC until 256BC. Various sculptures from Ancient Greece also depict Greeks lifting heavy stones – later substituted by heavy bells and primitive dumbbells. The sport made an appearance at the inaugural Modern Olympic Games in Athens and in 1896. It appeared intermittently at the Olympics until the 1920 Antwerp Games, from when it has been a permanent fixture ever since. The International Weightlifting Federation was founded in 1905 and stages an annual World Championships (except in Olympic years).

How it Works

Competitions are divided into various weight divisions and placing is based on the total weight lifted across the two main types of lift – the snatch and the clean and jerk.  Each competitor is allowed three attempts per lift with the weight of the bar set at a slightly heavier weight for each lift. The lifts are then judged for validity by a panel of three judges. The winner of the competition is the person who has lifted the most weight. If two men of different body weights lift the same amount of weight the lighter lifter is awarded the victory.  

Format for World Masters Games

The age brackets for the men’s competition are organised from 35-39, 40-44 all the way up to 80+. The women’s age groups are from 35-39, 40-44 all the way to 70+. Each age group will have competitions in eight weights divisions for the men (56kg, 62kg, 69kg, 77kg, 85kg, 94kg, 105kg and 105kg+. The women compete at seven weights (48kg, 53kg, 58kg, 63kg, 69kg, 75kg and 75kg+). Unlike many other sports at World Masters Games 2017 weightlifting operates a strict qualification system in order to compete in Auckland. The qualification standards and period has not yet been determined.

Expected Number of Competitors: 280

Venue: AUT Millennium

Kiwi Hero

Nigel Avery – A gifted all-round sportsman, Nigel was a former two-time New Zealand triple jump champion and representative bobsleigher before taking up the sport of weightlifting in his late 20s. Within two years he snagged a pair of bronze medals in snatch and total in the 105kg weight category at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games. The Aucklander represented his country at the 2000 Sydney Olympics before enjoying his finest hour at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, winning gold in the clean and jerk and total and silver in the snatch as a 105kg+ lifter.

Did You Know?

The discs used to weight the bars during competitions are colour coordinated, according to the following: 25kg-red, 20kg-blue, 15kg-yellow, 10kg-green, 5kg-white, 2.5kg-black, 0.50kg-chrome and 0.25kg-chrome.

How to get Involved