Men 56 kg bodyweight category is celebrating its seventy years!
In 1947 – exactly 70 years ago – the men’s 56 kg bodyweight category was introduced in weightlifting.
Until then there had been 5 different categories from 60 kg up to 82,5 kg where men could compete. At the birth of weightlifting around the turn of the 19th century athletes competed without any bodyweight categories. In the program there were only two events present: the One-hand and the Two-hands Clean and Jerk.
Moving on, in the 1920s the Total results of five exercises determined the ranking: the One-hand Snatch, the One-hand Clean and Jerk, the Two-hands Press, the Two-hands Snatch and the Two-hands Clean and Jerk.
In the 1930s the one-hand exercises were withdrawn and that was the time when the “Triathlon” started to rise, including the Two-hands Press, the Two-hands Snatch and the Two-hands Clean and Jerk. This system survived for a very long time until 1972 when the Triathlon was reduced to the Total of 2 Lifts, by eliminating the Press from the competitions and leaving the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. This ‘Biathlon’ – also called the ‘Olympic Total’ is still prevalent in the official IWF events in our days.
Between 1920-1936 there were five, in 1948 six, between 1952-1968 seven, between 1972-1976 nine and from 1980 ten bodyweight categories. A new set of categories was introduced for both men and women in 1998: 8 for men – from 56kg to +105kg – and 7 for women – from 48kg to +75kg. However, in order to reach gender equality, the IWF approved an 8th women’s category (+90kg) as of 1st January 2017.