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Powerlifting is the sport of weightlifting, and made its first appearance in Tokyo at the second Paralympic Games in 1964. Only men with spinal injuries participated at these games. Today this sport is now open to all athletes regardless of disability. In the Sydney Paralympic Games in 2000, women first competed in this sport.
During competition, competitors must lower the bar to their chest, hold it motionless on their chest and then press it upwards to arms length with locked elbows. The bench press as it is known in competition is the only discipline in the Paralympics with 10 different categories based on body weight. The categories of weight for male competition ranges from 48kg to 100+kg, while in women’s competition the weight ranges from 40kg up to 82.5+kg. A competitor has two minutes to complete the attempt. Each athlete has three attempts. If an athlete wishes to attempt a world record they can make a fourth attempt, only this time they will have a three minute time limit instead of two.
The equipment used is the Bench, the Bar, Discs, and Scales. The scales are electronic to give an accurate reading of the athlete’s weight. The bench must be sturdy. The bed of the bench must be flat, level, not less than 1.22m in length, and between 29 and 32 cm wide. The height of the bed must between 42cm and 45cm. The length of the bar must not exceed 2.2m. The diameter of the bar is never to be less than 28mm or greater than 29mm. The Discs are colour coded for instant identification. Black is used for discs of 50kg in weight, Red is used for discs of 25kg, Blue is used for discs of 20kg, Yellow is for weight of 15kg, and discs under 10kg may have any colour. The diameter of the largest disc is 45cm
During competition there are three referees to assess the success of each attempt. The lifting order within each round will be determined by the lifters choice of weight for that round. Weights must a multiple of 2.5kg unless it is a new record attempt. Between the first and second and the second and third attempt there must be a minimum increase of 2.5kg.
Since the Paralympic Games in 1992 in Barcelona, the sport has experience a rapid development as the interest in the sport has increased. In the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona 25 countries competed in weightlifting events. At the 1996 Atlanta Games, the number of countries grew to 58 countries. Since the Paralympic Games in Sydney the number has risen to a total of 115 countries on five continents. In 2012 at London, there were 200 competitors.
Advantages of Powerlifting
The sport is very good for building muscle and burning fat. It also strengthens your skeleton and reduces the risk of injury during other sports or activities. Powerlifting also has a long term effect on your metabolism.
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