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Powerlifting is one of the Paralympic Movement’s fastest growing sports in terms of participants and is now practiced in nearly 100 countries.

The sport represents the ultimate test of upper body strength with athletes competing in the bench press discipline.

Competitors must lower the bar to their chest, hold it motionless on the chest and then press it upwards to arms-length with locked elbows. Athletes are given three attempts and the winner is the athlete who lifts the highest number of kilograms.

Such is the strength of athletes competing in this sport, that it is not uncommon to see a competitor lift more than three times their own body weight.

Although weightlifting made its Paralympic debut at Tokyo 1964, it was not until the 1984 Games that powerlifting was first included as a Paralympic sport.
Initially the sport of weightlifting only catered for male athletes with a spinal cord injury, but in the years that followed the sport began to include other impairment groups too.

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