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Georgia's Lasha Talakhadze Dominated the Olympics With the Heaviest Lifts Ever

Men's Health logo Men's Health 8/4/2021 Brett Williams, NASM
The weightlifter swept the superheavyweight division, broke three world records, and posted a nearly 1,100 pound total. © Abbie Parr - Getty Images The weightlifter swept the superheavyweight division, broke three world records, and posted a nearly 1,100 pound total.

There are dominant performances in sports—and then there's what Georgian weightlifter Lasha Talakhadze did at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The 27-year-old superheavyweight (+109kg division) was so far out of his competitors' league he did not even begin making his attempts at the snatch and clean and jerk (the two events in Olympic weightlifting) until all the others were finished with their allotted three tries at the lower weights. For the snatch, he started his first lift 8kg heavier than any other competitor and set a new Olympic record on his first attempt at 208 kilograms (about 459 pounds), according to USA Today. Then, he broke his own world record in the lift on his final attempt, managing the 223 kilogram (about 492 pounds) snatch seemingly easily, holding the bar above his head and nodding to the judges before tossing the weight back to the platform.

Talakhadze's first clean and jerk attempt came at 245 kilograms (about 540 pounds), four more kilos than his closest competitor's heaviest lift. His second lift, at 255 kilograms (about 562 pounds) set a new Olympic record. His third and final clean and jerk broke his own world record again, at 265 kilograms (about 584 pounds). The last record to fall was his lift total, at 488 kilograms (about 1,076 pounds). You can check out all of his attempts from the competition here.

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On some level, the performance might not come as a surprise. Talakhadze came into Tokyo with a gold medal from the 2016 Rio Games and as the reigning European and World Champion (he's won five times total). But Talakhadze's perfection is still staggering, not flagging on a single attempt.

He's not planning to stop anytime soon, either. “It will be of course one of my goals to set as many records as possible,” he said to USA Today. “I will take part in the Paris Olympic Games, of course. This is my major goal.”

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