10 Weightlifters to Watch Out for in Rio!

In 10 Weightlifters to Watch Out for in Rio! we look at ten weightlifters who’ll be looking to bring their iron ‘A’ game to bear this summer: Five men, five women, ten different countries.

Weightlifting is one of 28 sports which will strongly (no pun intended!) feature at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Thousands of tonnes of iron will be pulled, pushed, jerked and hoisted overhead and many records will be broken during this hotly anticipated weightlifting contest! Be prepared to be inspired by these super-strong, iron-willed individuals let’s see if they can do their respective countries proud!

1. Zoe Smith (GB)

Zoe competed in 2012 and therefore has valuable experience and the essential skills to handle the physical and mental demands of performing under massive pressure (literally)! Highlights of her competition career include winning a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and claiming British records in the clean and jerk as well as combined totals in snatch and clean and jerk.

2. Om Yun Chol (North Korea)

Hailing from the hermit state of the DPRK and competing in the 56kg division, this phenomenal weightlifter has achieved a world record clean and jerk of 171kg. This is an incredible triple bodyweight lift and only 4 other lifters have ever achieved this remarkable feat of strength.

3. Boyanka Kostova (Azerbaijan)

Holding world records in the snatch (112kg) and the combined total (252kg) Kostova continues to get stronger and dominate the women`s 58kg division. She recently added a gold medal to her collection when she won the 2016 European Weightlifting Championships. Some of her awe-inspiring gym lifts include a 190kg front squat and 215kg squat!

4. Chen Lijun (China)

This 62kg class competitor presently holds world records in the clean and jerk (183kg) and combined total (333kg). His solid, muscular physique is as equally impressive as his demonstrations of strength!

5. Nazik Avdalyan (Armenia)

Lifting in the 69kg division, Avdalyan won gold in this year`s European Weightlifting Championships with impressive lifts of 105kg in the snatch and 132kg in the clean and jerk. She is also Armenia`s first female world champion in any sport!

6. Erika Ropati-Frost (Australia)

A highly motivated individual with nearly 100 competitions behind her, she achieved a 159kg combined total at a 47.8kg bodyweight in the 2016 Oceania Weightlifting Championships in May. She is also the first Australian woman to achieve a double bodyweight clean and jerk.

7. Sarah Robles (USA)

Sometimes referred to as America`s strongest woman, Robles has the potential to earn an Olympic medal for her country. She favours the clean and jerk and her best hoist is 157kg. She accomplished a respectable seventh place in the 2012 Summer Olympics and competes in the super heavyweight division (+75kg).

8. Ilya Ilyin (Kazakhstan)

A favourite that featured in a previous Keep Fit Kingdom video article and Kazakhstan`s national hero. Ilya has brought home the gold in two Olympics. His technique is flawless and he does it with such conviction and flair and only seems to be getting stronger. Need we say more?

9. Behdad Salimi (Iran)

Winner of the super heavyweight category (+105kg) in the 2012 Olympics. He holds a world record snatch of 214kg and has a mighty 255kg clean and jerk (an Asian Games record).This Iranian powerhouse is also capable of a gigantic 360kg back squat, just incredible!!

10. Ruslan Albegov (Russia)

Another lifter on our list who competed in the 2012 Olympics, Albegov will provide a significant challenge for Salimi if they’re both present at Rio! His bests are a 255kg clean and jerk and a 210kg snatch.

Watch out for these superhuman athletes that set no mental limits and strive to their utmost to shatter Olympic records. Let’s see if their their relentless hard work and heavyweight commitment pays off in Rio in their campaign to bring home some of that coveted Olympic metal!

Alan Riseborough

Alan is a strength and physique enthusiast and has 28 years' of training experience behind him. He has competed in powerlifting, arm wrestling, bodybuilding and grip strength competitions. He also includes rigorous bodyweight, sprinting and kettlebell training regularly in his routines. He believes in the transformative power of the squat which is (believe it or not) his favourite exercise!

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