Sports Summary

Para-powerlifting is the ultimate test of upper body strength. Bench press is currently the only Para-powerlifting discipline contested at the Paralympic Games.

Para-powerlifting is open to the athletes with a physical impairment. They compete in men’s or women’s events by weight classes.

Athletes are given three attempts and the winner is the competitor who lifts the highest number of kilograms.

For more information on Para-powerlifting Eligibility and How to Get Involved please see the Para-powerlifting Information Sheet (PDF – 120KB) – updated May 2024.



Events & Disciplines

There are 10 weight divisions across the men’s and women’s competitions, ranging from 49kg to over 107kg, and 41kg to over 86kg respectively.



Para-powerlifting is open to the athletes with a physical impairment. Athletes are required to submit medical reports and meet the minimum impairment criteria in order to compete. Eligibility is determined by trained Classifiers.

For more information on Eligible Impairments and Classification please see the Para-powerlifting Information Sheet (PDF – 84KB) – updated August 2021.

Athletes who have been nationally or internationally classified as per World Para-powerlifting’s Classification Rules or Paralympics Australia’s Classification Policy are automatically included in the Para-powerlifting Classification Masterlist (PDF – 97KB) for Para-powerlifting in Australia.

Rules & Equipment

Discs approved for competition by World Para-powerlifting must:

  • Weigh within 0.25 per cent of their face value
  • Weigh 1.25kg, 2.5kg, 5kg, 10kg, 15kg, 20kg or 25kg
  • Be clearly marked with their weight and loaded in descending weight order (i.e. from heaviest to lightest).


  • The size of the hole in the middle of each disc must be more than 52mm and less than 53mm.
  • For record purposes, lighter discs may be used to achieve a weight that is at least 500g more than the existing record.
  • The first – and heaviest – disc loaded on the bar must be loaded face-first. The remaining discs must be loaded face-out.
  • The diamter of the largest disc must not exceed 450mm.
  • Discs must comply with the following colour code:
Weight Colour
25kg Red
20kg Blue
15kg Yellow
10kg or under Any colour

Athletes compete lying on a bench that is 2.1m long, 61cm wide, and between 45cm and 50cm high. At its most narrow, towards the head, the bench is 30cm wide.

A collar weighing 2.5kg must also be worn by all athletes during their lifts.

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 1 2


We encourage those wishing to explore Para-powerlifting to contact their state federation in the first instance. The national federation link below provides information on the national high performance program leading to competing internationally and at the Paralympic Games.

National Federation

Paralympics Australia
Peter Brown
Para-powerlifting & Para-sport Coordinator

State Federation

Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association (QLD)