It debuted at the 1896 Summer Olympics, in Athens, Greece, and was also an event at the 1904 Games. In the early Games, all lifters competed in the same events, regardless of their individual body weights. Women's weightlifting made its Olympic debut at the 2000 Games in Sydney. In Tokyo there will be 7 weight categories ranging from -61Kg to +109Kg for the men and from -49Kg to +87 Kg for the women.
The two competition lifts are the snatch and the clean and jerk. The snatch is a wide-grip, one-move lift. The clean and jerk is a close-grip, two-move lift. Each weightlifter receives three attempts in each, and the combined total of the highest two successful lifts determines the overall result within a bodyweight category. A lifter who fails to complete at least one successful snatch and one successful clean and jerk also fails to total, and therefore receives an "incomplete" entry for the competition.