In 1964, in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, Weightlifting was introduced, and only involved men with spinal cord injuries. Until in 1992, Powerlifting was featured instead of Weightlifting as identical rules similar to that in Powerlifting competitions for able-bodied athletes were incorporated. It involves the competitor lifting a bar loaded with heavy plates at both ends and is the ultimate test of upper body strength and can sometimes see athletes lift more than three times their own body weight.
Currently, Powerlifting is open to male and female athletes with the following eight physical impairments. They must have the ability to fully extend the arms, with no more less than 20 degrees of extension in either elbow, and perform an approved lift. All eligible athletes compete in one sport class, but in different weight categories.
The bench press is the sport’s single discipline, with 10 different categories based on body weight. Men compete in the 49kg, 54kg, 59kg, 65kg, 72kg, 80kg, 88kg, 97kg, 107kg and +107kg divisions while women compete in the 41kg, 45kg, 50kg, 55kg, 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 79kg, 86kg and +86kg divisions.
Competitors must lower the bar to the chest, hold it motionless on the chest and then press it upwards to arms length with locked elbows. When held motionless in this position the audible signal "rack" shall be given. An immediate decision shall be given by the three referees through a system of white and red lights. Athletes are given three attempts and the winner is the athlete who lifts the highest number of kilograms. If an athlete wishes to make an attempt in order to achieve a record, they can make a fourth attempt.
Should there be a case of a tie, the person who weighs the least, wins.