Weight Classes, Competition Schedule Set For 2024 Olympics

by USA Weightlifting

France's flag waves in front of Eiffel Tower (Photo by USA Weightlifting)
A man waves the flag of France as spectators attend the Olympic Games handover ceremony on Aug. 8, 2021 in Paris.


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The International Olympic Committee on Friday determined the competition session schedule, qualification criteria, and pending weight classes and competition formats for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

In doing so, the IOC accepted the bodyweight categories put forward in December by the International Weightlifting Federation.

The weightlifting events for Paris 2024 are:
Men: 61kg, 73kg, 89kg, 102kg, +102kg
Women: 49kg, 59kg, 71kg, 81kg, +81kg

At last year’s Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, men competed at 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 81kg, 96kg, 109kg, +109kg, and women at 49kg, 55kg, 59kg, 64kg, 76kg, 87kg, +87kg. The bolded events are ones in which U.S. athletes were entered.

The weight classes for Paris were selected from the 20 (10 per gender) that have been contested both domestically and internationally since 2018. They differ largely from those contested in Tokyo because the IOC announced in December 2020 that weightlifting would have the highest quota reduction of any sport on the 2024 Olympic program, dropping from 14 events to 10, with fewer athletes competing in each.

Compared to the 260 weightlifters entered at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games (15 events each), and the 196 in Tokyo, only 120 will compete in Paris. The 2024 Games will have the lowest number of Olympic weightlifters since 1956 and fewest weightlifting events since before women’s categories were added in 2000.

The widest gaps between Olympic bodyweight categories have gone from 11kg (24.2 pounds) for men and 6kg (13.2 pounds) for women in Rio to 16kg (35.2 pounds) for men and 12kg (26.4 pounds) for women in Tokyo.

“It’s helpful to have final clarification of the weight classes to be contested in Paris as far out as we can,” said Mike Gattone, USA Weightlifting senior director of sport performance and coaching education. “With the smaller number of team slots available, and considering that individual qualification will most likely start sometime this year, prospective Olympians and their personal coaches will now be armed with knowledge to start making informed decisions on what bodyweight category gives them the best opportunity to qualify.

“For the health and performance of the athlete, the sooner that information is known, the more safely and effectively changes can be made. The depth of USAW athletes that can compete for these limited slots should provide some intense and exciting competition as well on both women’s and men’s sides.”

The Paris Opening Ceremony will be held Friday, July 26, 2024, and the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2024, with the weightlifting competition confirmed for Aug. 7-11 in South Paris Arena 6.

Sessions will begin at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. local time (9 a.m., 1:30 p.m. ET) each of the first three days; 11:30 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (5:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m. ET) on Aug. 10; and 11:30 a.m. (5:30 a.m. ET) on Aug. 11. The weight category contested each session has yet to be determined.

Weightlifting will be one of the final six sports to award medals the day of the Closing Ceremony.

The sport has taken place over a period of 10-12 days (typically with a one- or two-day break in the middle) at every Olympic Games since 1972 – when the weightlifting program expanded from seven to nine events – stretching across the bulk of the 16 days of medal events; in Paris, it will occur on just the final five days.

The qualification systems for all 32 sports are expected to be published over the course of the coming week. USA Weightlifting will share and break down the document for weightlifting once it is made available.

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