Sports Summary

Powerlifting is the ultimate test of upper body strength.  The athletes are given three attempts and the winner is the athlete who lifts the highest number of kilograms.

The bench press is the only discipline with 10 different categories based on body weight. The competition is open to all athletes with cerebral palsy, spinal injuries, short stature, amputees (lower limb amputees only) and les autres who meet minimal impairment criteria.

Competitors must lower the bar to the chest, hold it motionless on the chest and then press it upwards to arms length with locked elbows.

Powerlifting for athletes with a impairment made its first appearance in 1964 at the second Paralympic Games in Tokyo as ‘Weightlifting’.  Later it changed from ‘Weightlifting’ to ‘Powerlifting’.


International Paralympic Committee

Events & Disciplines

  • Men’s competition is divided into 10 weight divisions, from 49kg to over 107kg
  • Women’s competition is divided into 10 weight divisions, from 41kg to over 86kg


Who is eligible for Powerlifting? Athletes with a physical impairment.

What are the classes? Athletes must meet the minimal impairment criteria to be in the class eligible.

How do I get a classification? Request a classification using the Get Classified form.

Classification Masterlist: Athletes who have been nationally or internationally classified as per IPC Classification Rules or APC Classification Policy are automatically included in this database.

Powerlifting Australian Classification Masterlist June 2013 PDF
Powerlifting Australian Classification Masterlist June 2013 ZIP

Rules & Equipment


To have IPC Powerlifting approval, discs must conform as follows:

All discs used in competition must weigh within 0.25% of their correct face value.
The size of the hole in the middle of the disc may not exceed 53 mm or be less than 52mm.
Discs must be within the following range: 1.25kg, 2.5kg, 5kg, 10kg, 15kg, 20kg and 25kg.
For record purposes, lighter discs may be used to achieve a weight of a least 500 gr. more than the existing record.
Discs must conform to the following colour code: 25kg = red, 20kg = blue, 15kg = yellow, 10kg and under = any colour.
All discs must be clearly marked with their weight and loaded in the sequence of heavier discs innermost with the smaller discs in descending weight arranged so that the referees can read the weight on each disc.
The first and heaviest disc loaded on the bar must be loaded face in, with the rest of the discs loaded face out.
The diameter of the largest disc shall not be more than 450mm.


A collar weighing 2.5kg must be worn by all athletes in competition.

The Bench

Athletes compete lying on a bench. The official bench is 2.1m long. The main part of the bench is 61cm wide. At the end of the bench and towards the head, the bench narrows down to 30cm. The height of the bench varies between 45 and 50cm from the ground.

Medal History

Year Gold Silver Bronze total
2008 0 1 0 1
2004 0 1 0 1
2000 0 1 0 1
1996 0 1 0 1
1992 1 0 0 1
1988 0 1 2 3
1980 0 0 2 2
1976 1 0 1 2
1972 1 0 0 1
1968 1 0 0 1
1964 0 3 0 3



Click to see profile
Meet the 2016 Paralympic Powerlifting Team

For further information about this sport and how to get involved please contact the National or your State Federation below

Australia Paralympic Committe

Queensland – Sporting Wheelies & Disabled Association