Last Updated: 26/07/11 9:05pm
Weightlifting's origins in the Olympics go back to the first modern Games in 1896 in Athens.
However it wasn't until 1920 that it took off as a serious Olympic sport.
Having been limited to the one-hand lift and two-hand lift in 1896 and the two-hand lift and all-round dumbbell in 1904, the event was expanded when it returned after a 16-year absence.
In Antwerp the sport was properly structured into weight categories - from featherweight up to heavyweight.
Those categories have evolved over the years, with the current set-up running from bantamweight (under 56kg) up to super-heavyweight (over 105kg)
Women competitors had to wait until 2000 for their chance to shine on the Olympic stage, with their categories split from under 48kg up to over 75kg.
Weightlifting is judged on two techniques - the snatch and clean jerk - with each competitor having three attempts in each one.
The snatch is where competitors have to lift the bar above the head in one motion and remain still until the referees give the white light. The bar and body must be in straight lines, with the competitors' legs and arms fully extended.
The clean and jerk is split into two sections. The clean is where competitors hoist the bar from the ground to shoulder level - normally under the chin - in one movement. The jerk now sees the competitors attempt to lift the weight above the head - and similar to the snatch, they must then remain still until the white light goes on.
The competitors' final scores are the sum total of the heaviest weight lifted in each technique.
Weightlifting, through various forms, has provided the backbone of testing someone's physical prowess throughout the ages.
Whether it has been boulders or animals, the action has been used to determined a man's (or woman's) strength.
Although events like lifting heavy stones remain in strongman style events, modern weightlifting rose to prominence during the 19th century, with it accepted into the first modern Games in 1896.
The sport's governing body - the International Weightlifting Federation - was formed in 1905 oversee its development.
From 1932, the event was judged on three lifts - the press, the snatch and the clean and Jerk. However the press was removed 40 years later due to issues over judging it.
Zoe Smith: The rising star of British weightlifting, the 16-year-old student from London captured the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Dehli. She bravely challenged for silver but failed in her two attempts at 108kg in the clean and jerk. She controversially had her funding suspended last year after accusations she was overweight but that has now been reinstated.
Peter Kirkbride: The Scottish lifter was just 1kg off gold at the Commonwealth Games, despite an impressive total of 333kg in the 94kg category. The 23-year-old, though, has some way to go in Olympic terms with the world record standing at 412kg.
Helen Jewell: The 22-year-old has been building up valuable experience on the senior circuit, finishing ninth in the Commonwealths and eighth in the Europeans. Jewell was some 18kg behind Smith, though, in Dehli in the 58kg category.
Teenager Zoe Smith is a GB medal hope
Vasily Alexeev: The greatest weightlifting Olympian of all time, the giant from the old Soviet Union became the first competitor to clean and jerk 500lbs. He went on to win super-heavyweight golds in 1972 and 1976, while he was the undisputed world champion between 1970 and 1977. Disappointingly for his home fans, he retired before the Moscow Games.
Pyrros Dimas: The Greek won four Olympic medals, with Dimas having dominated the light-heavyweight division in the 1990s. Having won golds in 1992, 1996 and 2000, Dimas had vowed to win a fourth title in Athens. Knee surgery and then a wrist injury on the eve of the competition looked to have scuppered his hopes, though. However the then 33-year-old defied the odds to claim the bronze in front of his Greek fans.
Naim Suleymanoglu: The Bulgaria-born Turk won three Olympic golds and could have won more. He missed competing in 1984 because of Bulgaria's boycott of the Games, however he went on to win gold in 1988, 1992 and 1996 in Turkish colours. His attempts at a fourth title fell foul when the Pocket Hercules was eliminated when going for a world record.
Liu Chunhong: The queen of weightlifting, Chunhong became the first woman to defend her Olympic title. The 26-year-old first tasted success in 2004, before thrilling her home fans in Beijing by winning gold again in the light-heavyweight division. Her world record total of 286kg is currently 4kg better than the Olympic heavyweight record.
Ones to watch
Liao Hui: The Chinese lifter is the reigning Olympic and world champion at 69kg. He success at the 2010 World Championships in Turkey saw the 23-year-old break the world records for the clean and jerk as well as the total - with Hui lifting a combined total of 358kg.
Zoe Smith: Okay, a wildcard selection, but at just 16 the Londoner has the world at her feet if she can maintain her current progress. Having already won bronze in the Commonwealths at 58kg, Smith has her eyes firmly on the Olympics - although she has plenty of work to do. Her combined lift of 188kg might have been good enough for a medal in Dehli, but it is well short of the world championship winning total of 237kg and the world record of 251kg.
Tigran Martirosyan: Could be the dark horse in the 77kg category. The Armenian was a bronze medalist in Beijing campaigning at the division below, however he toppled world record holder Lu Xiaojun at the 2010 World Championships in Turkey. Martirosyan is also the reigning European champion, with the 23-year-old having improved year on year. His total at Antalya was just 8kg off the world record.
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