Para Powerlifting

Paralympic Powerlifting


Powerlifting is the ultimate test of upper body strength. Athletes with a disability compete in the bench press. Competition is open to men and women of all ages and sizes. Powerlifting follows the same rules as able-bodied bench press.

Powerlifting was first introduced as a Paralympic sport in 1964 at the second Paralympic Games in Tokyo as ‘Weightlifting’. The name was later changed to ‘Powerlifting’.

Weightlifting Wales  is the National Governing Body for powerlifting. It is also Wales’s affiliate with the International Powerlifting Federation.


To perform a bench press a lifter lies on a bench and the bar is supported on racks behind the lifter’s head. The bar is taken from the racks at arms’ length, lowered to the chest and pressed back to arms’ length. The athletes are given three attempts and the winner is the athlete who lifts the greatest number of kilograms.


Please follow link to IPC Rules and Regulations:

Please click here



To be eligible for powerlifting athletes must have a physical impairment and meet the following minimal disability criteria.
Physical Impairment Minimal Disability Guide
Limb Loss or Deficiency Leg: Single amputation above the ankle joint.
Loss of Muscle Strength Leg: Loss of strength in a hip, knee, ankle or foot that impacts on the ability to stand.
Hypertonia, Ataxia, Athetosis Hypertonia (Spasticity, Rigidity or Dystonia), Ataxiaor Athetosis that leads to impairment in function in lower limb.
Short Stature Adults standing height less than or equal to 145cm (males) / 140cm (females).
Joint Movement Restrictions Leg-Joint movement restriction in one hip or knee that impacts on the ability to stand.
Leg Length Difference The difference between legs should be at least 7cm.


Each athlete is classified as eligible or not eligible based on whether they meet the minimal disability criteria. To test the minimal disability criteria classifiers observe athletes as they perform a range of movements. They test for muscle power, coordination and range of movement. They also measure the length of the athlete’s lower limbs.

Eligible athletes are divided into ten weight categories based on gender. Females and males compete separately.

There are also opportunities to become a Coach and Official within Powerlifting, for further information please contact Weightlifting Wales.

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