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Tokyo 2020 weightlifting medalists' characteristics

Summary of an article analysing characteristics of weightlifting athletes who were successful at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. categories:

Who

140 athletes who placed 1-10th at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Design

Data analysis of results and characteristics of the weightlifting athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Outcome measures

  • medals’ count
  • medalists’ characteristics

Main results

Tokyo 2020 weightlifting medalists' characteristics - Infographic

  • 42 medals:
    • China 8 (out of 8 athletes that they brought)
    • Italy 3
    • Indonesia 3
    • Ecuador 2
    • Taiwan 2
    • USA 2
    • Dominican Republic 2
    • Georgia 2
    • Venezuela 2
    • Kazakhstan 2
    • Philippines 1
    • Canada 1
    • India 1
    • Turkmenistan 1
    • United Kingdom 1
    • Japan 1
    • Mexico 1
    • Qatar 1
    • Uzbekistan 1
    • Columbia 1
    • Armenia 1
    • Iran 1
    • Latvia 1
    • Syria 1
  • medalists’ ages ranged from 19 to 37 years.

    Women's weight classes
    49 kg
    55 kg
    59 kg
    64 kg
    76 kg
    87 kg
    +87 kg
    Average age (range)
    Women's weight classes
    49 kg
    23 (19-26)
    55 kg
    28 (26-30)
    59 kg
    25 (21-28)
    64 kg
    29 (24-34)
    76 kg
    24 (22-28)
    87 kg
    27 (24-29)
    +87 kg
    27 (21-33)
    Men's weight classes
    61 kg
    67 kg
    73 kg
    81 kg
    96 kg
    109 kg
    +109 kg
    Average age (range)
    Men's weight classes
    61 kg
    27 (22-32)
    67 kg
    26 (23-28)
    73 kg
    28 (25-31)
    81 kg
    29 (24-37)
    96 kg
    23 (23-25)
    109 kg
    25 (21-29)
    +109 kg
    25 (22-27)
  • medalists’ age of starting weightlifting: The age of starting ranged from as early as 7 years of age to 20 years of age. In general, men started earlier than women.

    Women's weight classes
    49 kg
    55 kg
    59 kg
    64 kg
    76 kg
    87 kg
    +87 kg
    Average age (range)
    Women's weight classes
    49 kg
    12 (9-14)
    55 kg
    10 (9-11)
    59 kg
    13 (10-16)
    64 kg
    14 (8-19)
    76 kg
    14 (11-16)
    87 kg
    14 (11-16)
    +87 kg
    17 (12-20)
    Men's weight classes
    61 kg
    67 kg
    73 kg
    81 kg
    96 kg
    109 kg
    +109 kg
    Average age (range)
    Men's weight classes
    61 kg
    11 (10-12)
    67 kg
    10 (7-14)
    73 kg
    11 (10-12)
    81 kg
    15 (14-16)
    96 kg
    10 (9-11)
    109 kg
    10 (9-12)
    +109 kg
    11 (10-11)
  • medalists’ years/time to achieve the maximum result: The athletes have spent from 6 to 20 years to get to their best result. Athletes with lower time to achieve their result are considered promising, as they may still improve if they spend more years in the sport.

    Women's weight classes
    49 kg
    55 kg
    59 kg
    64 kg
    76 kg
    87 kg
    +87 kg
    Time (range)
    Women's weight classes
    49 kg
    11 (10-12)
    55 kg
    15 (12-19)
    59 kg
    13 (10-18)
    64 kg
    14 (8-19)
    76 kg
    10 (6-12)
    87 kg
    10 (8-14)
    +87 kg
    10 (7-10)
    Men's weight classes
    61 kg
    67 kg
    73 kg
    81 kg
    96 kg
    109 kg
    +109 kg
    Time (range)
    Men's weight classes
    61 kg
    13 (11-16)
    67 kg
    15 (10-19)
    73 kg
    16 (14-20)
    81 kg
    11 (9-14)
    96 kg
    12 (11-12)
    109 kg
    14 (9-20)
    +109 kg
    15 (11-17)
  • medalists’ snatch to clean & jerk ratio:

    • women on average 78.7 ± 2.7%
    • men on average 82.0 ± 2.2%
    • women achieve success due to increase in clean & jerk results, while men due to increase in both snatch and clean & jerk.
Women's weight classes
light (49, 55, 59 kg)
medium (64, 76 kg)
heavy (87, +87 kg)
Average Sn:C&J ratio
Women's weight classes
light (49, 55, 59 kg)
77.2 ± 2.2
medium (64, 76 kg)
80.5 ± 1.0
heavy (87, +87 kg)
79.2 ± 2.7
Men's weight classes
light (61, 67, 73 kg)
medium (81, 96 kg)
heavy (109, +109 kg)
Average Sn:C&J ratio
Men's weight classes
light (61, 67, 73 kg)
81.5 ± 2.1
medium (81, 96 kg)
82.1 ± 2.3
heavy (109, +109 kg)
82.7 ± 2.6
  • medalists’ starting weight percentage for snatch:

    • women on average 4.5 - 5.7% reduction from the maximal (3rd) attempt

    • men on average 4.7 - 7.6% reduction from the maximal (3rd) attempt

      Women's weight classes
      light (49, 55, 59 kg)
      medium (64, 76 kg)
      heavy (87, +87 kg)
      Starting weight %
      Women's weight classes
      light (49, 55, 59 kg)
      95.6 ± 1.7
      medium (64, 76 kg)
      96.2 ± 1.8
      heavy (87, +87 kg)
      95.1 ± 1.6
      Men's weight classes
      light (61, 67, 73 kg)
      medium (81, 96 kg)
      heavy (109, +109 kg)
      Starting weight %
      Men's weight classes
      light (61, 67, 73 kg)
      95.3 ± 2.5
      medium (81, 96 kg)
      97.4 ± 0.5
      heavy (109, +109 kg)
      95.3 ± 1.7
  • medalists’ starting weight percentage for clean & jerk:

    • women on average 4.2 - 5.8% reduction from the maximal (3rd) attempt
    • men on average 3.4 - 4.9% reduction from the maximal (3rd) attempt
Women's weight classes
light (49, 55, 59 kg)
medium (64, 76 kg)
heavy (87, +87 kg)
Starting weight %
Women's weight classes
light (49, 55, 59 kg)
94.3 ± 2.7
medium (64, 76 kg)
95.8 ± 1.7
heavy (87, +87 kg)
94.3 ± 2.7
Men's weight classes
light (61, 67, 73 kg)
medium (81, 96 kg)
heavy (109, +109 kg)
Starting weight %
Men's weight classes
light (61, 67, 73 kg)
95.5 ± 1.4
medium (81, 96 kg)
94.3 ± 0.6
heavy (109, +109 kg)
94.7 ± 1.6
  • medalists’ success rate [%]:
    • women average 74.2% in snatch, 75.8% in clean & jerk
    • men average 66.2% in snatch, 62.9% in clean & jerk
    • women performed more consistently in the clean & jerk, and men in the snatch. In general, women performed more successful lifts than men.
Women's weight classes
49 kg
55 kg
59 kg
64 kg
76 kg
87 kg
+87 kg
Success rate sn, c&j
Women's weight classes
49 kg
66, 89
55 kg
66, 78
59 kg
66, 77
64 kg
89, 66
76 kg
77, 77
87 kg
77, 66
+87 kg
77, 77
Men's weight classes
61 kg
67 kg
73 kg
81 kg
96 kg
109 kg
+109 kg
Success rate [5%] sn, c&j
Men's weight classes
61 kg
55, 55
67 kg
44, 55
73 kg
78, 66
81 kg
55, 66
96 kg
77, 55
109 kg
66, 66
+109 kg
89, 77
  • How competitive each weight class was (calculate as a % difference between the 1st and 10th athletes’ results):

    • the most competitive class was 64 kg. The least competitive were +87 and +109 kg classes.

      Women's weight classes
      49 kg
      55 kg
      59 kg
      64 kg
      76 kg
      87 kg
      +87 kg
      Difference [%]
      Women's weight classes
      49 kg
      20.5
      55 kg
      17.0
      59 kg
      16.1
      64 kg
      8.1
      76 kg
      22.8
      87 kg
      16.7
      +87 kg
      31.3
      Men's weight classes
      61 kg
      67 kg
      73 kg
      81 kg
      96 kg
      109 kg
      +109 kg
      Difference [%]
      Men's weight classes
      61 kg
      15.3
      67 kg
      10.3
      73 kg
      11.3
      81 kg
      15.3
      96 kg
      11.5
      109 kg
      13.7
      +109 kg
      22.0
  • There were 25 Olympic records broken by women and 30 Olympic and 4 World records broken by men.

Bonus

Using the data from this study, I have graphed how competitive each weight class was at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. On the left side, I have added the proposed Paris 2024 weight classes. Please note that this analysis depends solely on the individual results of the athletes who placed 1-10 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It is a very small sample size, influenced by for example which countries got licences (and how many)

Paris - Tokyo Olympics weight class comparison - Infographic

Take home message

For a clinician & coach
At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics the most successful were Chinese athletes (100% of them got medals). Olympic medalists were on average 26.1 years old, and trained anywhere from 8 to 20 years to achieve their highest result. For women, snatch to clean & jerk ratio result was on average 78.7 ± 2.7%. Their success in snatch was 74.2%, and clean & jerk 75.8%. For men, snatch to clean & jerk ratio result was on average 82.0 ± 2.2%. Their success in snatch was 66.2%, and clean & jerk 62.9%. The most competitive weight class was 64 kg.
For a parent
At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics the most successful were Chinese athletes (100% of them got medals). Olympic medalists were on average 26.1 years old, and trained anywhere from 8 to 20 years to achieve their highest result. For women, snatch to clean & jerk ratio result was on average 78.7 ± 2.7%. Their success in snatch was 74.2%, and clean & jerk 75.8%. For men, snatch to clean & jerk ratio result was on average 82.0 ± 2.2%. Their success in snatch was 66.2%, and clean & jerk 62.9%. The most competitive weight class was 64 kg.
For an athlete
At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics the most successful were Chinese athletes (100% of them got medals). Olympic medalists were on average 26.1 years old, and trained anywhere from 8 to 20 years to achieve their highest result. For women, snatch to clean & jerk ratio result was on average 78.7 ± 2.7%. Their success in snatch was 74.2%, and clean & jerk 75.8%. For men, snatch to clean & jerk ratio result was on average 82.0 ± 2.2%. Their success in snatch was 66.2%, and clean & jerk 62.9%. The most competitive weight class was 64 kg.

Original article

Oleshko VG, Yang T, Torokhtiy OP, Putsoff SO. Competitive Activity of Weightlifters at the XXXII Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo: Results and Prospects. Health, sport, rehabilitation. 2021 Dec 25;7(4):69-83.

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