HISTORY OF WEIGHTLIFTING AT THE OLYMPICS
Weightlifting was one of the few sports contested at the first Games of the modern era in 1896, but was only fought in two categories, a one-handed lift and a double-handed lift, with no weight restrictions.
Since then it's only missed three Games, in 1900, 1908 and 1912, enjoying a clear run from the 1920 Antwerp Olympics onwards, while women's weightlifting was only introduced at the Sydney Games in 2000.
Considered one of the most dramatic of Olympic sports, it's a demonstration of brute strength, with some of the strongest male lifters - usually in the lighter divisions - clearing about three times their weight.
The record for the most weight ever lifted in Olympic competition belongs to Iran's Hossein Rezazadeh, who at the 2004 Athens Games clean-and-jerked 263.5kg, which remains the world record.
New Zealand sent its first weightlifters to the Olympics in 1948, which was also the last time the Games were held in London.
Richie Patterson will compete in London in the 85kg class.Russia, Iran, Turkey and China, the latter particularly in the lighter categories, are the current dominant nations.
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