Commonwealth Games Primer: Weightlifting

The Canadian Weightlifting Federation has set a target of six medals in Glasgow, where 2010 silver medallist Marie-Eve Beauchemin-Nadeau goes for gold in the women's 75-kg division.

Canada's Beauchemin-Nadeau won silver in 2010

Canada's Marie-Ève Beauchemin-Nadeau was a 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist and a 2012 Olympian. (Yuri Cortez/AFP/GettyImages)

A core sport, weightlifting has been a mainstay on the Commonwealth Games program since 1950 in Auckland.

It's a sport traditionally dominated by Eastern Europeans and, more recently, Chinese. But at the Commonwealth Games, Australia is the all-time king with 150 medals. England (106) is next, followed by India (101) and Canada (92).

Nigeria was the surprising powerhouse at the 2010 Games in Delhi, winning 14 of the 51 available medals. Canada reached the podium five times, including gold-medal wins by Christine Girard and Marilou Dozois-Prévost.

Canada has 14 lifters (six women, eight men) entered in nine different weight classes in Glasgow. There are 15 divisions in all, plus four bench-press competitions for para-sport athletes.

The competition for able-bodied athletes works like this: Lifters perform two different types of lifts — the snatch and the clean and jerk. In the former, the bar is lifted over the head in one motion. The latter is a two-stage lift in which the athlete brings the weight up to her shoulders, pauses, then hoists it above her head.

Each athlete lifts the most weight she can in both types of lifts, the numbers are added together, and the highest total wins. If there's a tie, the lifter with the lower body weight takes it.

Three attempts are allowed at each weight, and lifters must add at least one kilogram in each subsequent round.

Canadians to watch

The Canadian Weightlifting Federation has set a target of six medals in Glasgow. Here are some candidates to win them:

Montreal's Marie-Ève Beauchemin-Nadeau was the silver medallist at 75 kg at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and finished eighth at the 2012 London Olympics, where she competed at 69 kg. She's entered in the 75 kg event in Glasgow.

Edmonton's Marie-Josée Arès-Pilon will be looking to crack the podium in her second Commonwealth Games appearance. The 69-kg lifter finished fourth in Delhi.

On the men's side, 2010 Commonwealth bronze medallists Mathieu Marineau (85 kg) and George Kobaladze (+105 kg) are back.


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