History Top Image.

Our history

The IWF was founded in 1905, and has 193 member federations.

Originally called the Fédération Haltéphile International (FHI), it changed its name to International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) between the 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics.


Tashkent - Uzbekistan

Ten (10) new bodyweight categories for women and ten (10) new categories for men were approved by the IWF Executive Board and ratified by the Congress. Seven (7) and seven (7) bodyweight categories were also selected for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Game

Beijing - Penang

8th women bodyweight category approved by the EB in Beijing, CHN (25 September) and ratified by the Congress in Penang, MAS (19 October) achieving gender equality.
New categories in effect with 1 January 2017 are 90kg and +90kg for Junior and Senior, 75kg and +75kg for Youth.



7th November


The new IWF logo was approved and introduced at the 2014 IWF World Championships


26th Summer Universiade featuring weightlifting for the first time on the program.



15th–19th August


1st Youth Olympic Games (Women 46 lifters, 40 nations, Men 58 lifters, 48 nations). Approved by the IOC weightlifting featured on the Games with the following criteria: Age group: 16 – 17 years; Categories women: 48-53-58-63-63+ kg; Categories men: 56-62-69-77-85-85+ kg; Six competitions days and a quota of 110 competitors altogether.

20th–24th May


1st Youth World Championships (Women 143 lifters, 30 nations, Men 202 lifters, 42 nations).

Chiang Mai


25th–28th November

Komotini, Greece

1st FISU World University Championships (Women 56 lifters, 23 nations. Men 103 lifters, 29 nations).

3rd March


IWF celebrates its centenary (10 June 1905, Duisburg, Germany).

4th March, IWF Congress, Istanbul: With effect of 1st May, the weight of the barbell must always be a multiple of 1.0 kg.

A World Record is only valid if it exceeds the previous one (individual lift or total) by 1.0 kg.



16th–26th September


Weightlifting for women celebrates the Premiere at the Games of the XXVII Olympiad with 85 athletes from 47 countries.

24th–25th April

Ramat Gan

New categories are valid: for men 56-62-69-77-85-94-105-over 105 kg, for women: 48-53-58-63-69-75-over 75 kg.

1st World Championships for University and College Students (Women 37 lifters,11 nations, Men 50 lifters, 11 nations).




Introduction of women bar to be used at world and continental championships and big international events. Length of the bar is 2010 mm, grip diameter is 25 mm, and weight of the bar is 15 kg.

1st May

IWF Executive Board Meeting, Warsaw

For the team classification 28-25-23-22-21-20-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points are distributed for the 1st to 25th place.

10th and 11th December, IWF Congress, Athens: Two-Year-Suspension for a first doping offence.

13th December: The IOC Executive Board confirmed it’s decision to include women’s weightlifting in the programme of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.



9th–16th July


1st Junior World Championships for women (upper age limit 18 years) with 75 lifters, 17 nations.

16th–18th February

IWF Executive Board Meeting, Hurghada

New categories are valid: 54 kg, 59 kg, 64 kg, 70 kg, 76 kg, 83 kg, 91 kg, 99 kg, 108 kg and over 108 kg for Men. 46 kg, 50 kg, 54 kg, 59 kg, 64 kg, 70 kg, 76 kg, 83 kg and over 83 kg for Women.



15th November

IWF Congress in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

The IWF recognizes the masters movement.

When competitors attempt two lifts in succession, they have two minutes (120 seconds) for the succeeding attempt.

27th–28th March

IWF Executive Board Meeting, Atlanta

World records can be set up at the following events: World Championships (Men, Women, and Junior), Continental Championships, Continental Games, and World Cup Gala.

An IWF-conducted doping control is a condition for all the events.

27th September – 5th October, Donaueschingen: One minute (60 seconds) is given to competitors between the calling of their name and the beginning of their attempt.



8th November

IWF Executive Board Meeting, Budapest

Suspension for life already at the first positive doping cases.

11th March

IWF Executive Board Meeting, Tenerife

Lifters setting up world records must undergo doping control.

No fourth attempt for world records permitted.



1st December

IWF Congress, Jakarta

The time limit for the execution of an attempt reduced to 90 seconds.

4th September

IWF Executive Board Meeting, Ostrava

The weight increase from the first attempt to the second one in the two competition exercises may be 2.5 kg.

30th October – 1st November, Florida: The first Women World Championships with 100 athletes from 22 countries took place.



23rd March


The first international women tournament took place with 23 athletes from five countries.

12th–14th January

IWF Executive Board Meeting, Herzogenaurach

It was unanimously agreed that any lifter caught in Los Angeles at the Olympic Games on the use of doping should be suspended for life.

27th July, IWF Congress, Los Angeles: For the team classification 16-14-13-12-11-10-9- 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points are distributed for the 1st to 15th place.



20th October

IWF Executive Board Meeting, Moscow

Unanimously accepted to control woman weightlifting in principle. Categories for women: 44-48-52-56-60-67.5-75-82.5-over 82.5 kg.

20th–21st January


The first “Barbell-Summit” with the companies manufacturing the weightlifting barbells took place. The IWF used its right to issue licenses and to specify the kind of equipment at important international competitions.




The “Special Methodical Commission”, created provisionally in 1977, found the official recognition in the Constitution as “Scientific and Research Committee”.

6th November, Melbourne: Foundation of the “Oceania Weightlifting Federation”.

10th March


Foundation of the “Weightlifting Federation of Africa”.




The following ten categories are valid: 52-56-60-67.5-75-82.5-90-100-110-over 110 kg.
The three minutes period for the execution of attempts reduced to two minutes.
For the team classification 12-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points are distributed for the 1st to 10th place for the individual lifts and the total.
15th September, Executive Board Meeting, Stuttgart: Provisional creation of a “Special Methodical Commission”.

5th–12th July


The first Junior World Championships were organized.




Abolition of the two-hand press. Competitions only with two lifts (Snatch, Clean & Jerk with two hands).

For the team classification 12-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points are distributed for the 1st to 10th place (only for the total).

6th September

Executive Board Meeting

The organization’s new name is “International Weightlifting Federation”, in short IWF.




The following categories are valid: 52 kg Flyweight, 56 kg Bantamweight, 60 kg Featherweight, 67.5 kg Lightweight, 75 kg Middleweight, 82.5 kg Lightheavyweight, 90 kg Middleheavyweight, over 90 kg till 110 kg Heavyweight, over 110 kg Superheavyweight.

In World and Continental Championships not only the total results but also the individual lifts are honoured with medals.

The organization’s new name is “Fédération Haltérophile International”, in short FHI.

20th September, Warsaw: Foundation of the “European Weightlifting Federation”.

Foundation of the AIPS Weightlifting Commission.

15th October

FIHC Congress, Tokyo

For the registration of junior world records, a category 52 kg is accepted.

When there are 14 or more athletes in a category the competition has to be carried out in two groups.




World records for juniors are recognized and registered.

Referees are classified in Category I and Category II.

11th June

FIHC Bureau Meeting, London

One-hand exercises are deleted.



24th May


Foundation of the “Asian Weightlifting Federation”.

For the team classification 7-5-4-3-2-1 points are distributed for the 1st to the 6th place.

7th November

FIHC Congress, Teheran

For the team classification, there are distributed 10-6-4-3-2-1 points for the first to the sixth place.

Diameter of the bar is 28 mm; distance of the bar between the discs is 1.31 m; height from the ground 21 cm; length of the bar 2.20m.




New categories are introduced: 56 kg – Bantamweight, 60 kg – Featherweight, 67.5 kg – Lightweight, 75 kg – Middleweight, 82.5 kg – Lightheavyweight, 90 kg – Middleheavyweight and over 90 kg – Heavyweight.

28th February, Buenos Aires: Foundation of the “Pan-American Weightlifting Federation”.

12th October

FIH Congress, Paris

At Olympic Games and World Championships, seven lifters per country may participate, with a maximum of two lifters per category.

The organization’s new name is “Fédération Internationale Haltérophile et Culturiste”, in short FIHC.

A time limit of 3 minutes is allowed for competitors.



7th August

FIH Congress, London

For the team classification 5-3-1 points are distributed for the 1st to the 3rd place.


A new bodyweight category up to 56 kg (bantamweight) is created.



17th October

FIH Congress, Paris

World records in the Olympic Triathlon (sum of results in press, snatch and clean & jerk) are recognised and registered.

13th September

FIH Congress, Paris

When, during an international competition, a lifter fails by a small margin (not more than 5 kg) a world record, he may be granted, at his request, a fourth attempt outside the competition.



17th May

Amsterdam Olympic Games

Only a triathlon consisting of press, snatch and clean & jerk with both hands has to be executed in the weightlifting program.

15th March


FIH published the first authentic list of world records in the following exercises: right and left hand snatch, right and left hand clean & jerk, two hands press, snatch and clean & jerk.



23rd August


The organization’s new name is “Fédération Internationale Haltérophile”, in short FIH.

6th–7th July


The organization’s new name is “Internationaler Amateur-Weltverband für Schwerathletik“.

Five bodyweight categories are approved: 60 kg – Featherweight, 67.5 kg – Lightweight, 75 kg – Middleweight, 82.5 kg – Lightheavyweight, over 82.5 kg – Heavyweight.



15th July


The organization’s new name is “Internationaler Weltverband für Schwerathletik”.

10th July


A barbell with discs (20, 15, 10, 5, 2.5 and 1.25 kg) and a revolving bar is introduced by the company Kaspar Berg.



10th June


Foundation of the „Amateur-Athleten-Weltunion“, predecessor of the IWF, with responsibility for weightlifting and wrestling.

Three body weight categories are realised: 70 kg Lightweight, 80 kg Middleweight and over 80 kg Heavy-weight. Four exercises have to form the program in international competitions: right- and left-hand snatch, two-hand press and two-hand clean & jerk.

7th April


Weightlifting is in the program of the first Olympic Games of the modern times. One-hand snatch and two-hand clean and jerk formed the program for six athletes from five countries.



28th March


In an international competition with seven athletes from six countries, Levy Lawrence Edward (GBR) gained the title “Amateur Champion Weightlifter of the World”.

31st May


The “Österreichischer Athleten Bund” (founded in December 1889) is officially recognised by the Imperial and Royal Governorship and became the first world’s national governing body for weightlifting