Para Powerlifting

The Sport

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.
World Para Powerlifting, under the governance of the International Paralympic Committee, acts as the international federation for the sport and is based in Bonn, Germany.
Open to male and female athletes with eight eligible physical impairments, athletes compete in one sport class across 10 different weight categories per gender.


Competition description

•    Men compete in the 49kg, 54kg, 59kg, 65kg, 72kg, 80kg, 88kg, 97kg, 107kg and +107kg divisions.

•    Women compete in the 41kg, 45kg, 50kg, 55kg, 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 79kg, 86kg and +86kg divisions.

Sport Equipment

Athletes compete lying on an official World Para Powerlifting approved bench which is 2.1m long. The width of the bench is 61cm wide and narrows to 30cm where the head is placed.
The height of the bench varies between 48 and 50cm from the ground.  World Para Powerlifting approved discs must conform to several standards outlined in the sport’s rules and regulations.

History and Paralympic Debut

Powerlifting was first included as a Paralympic sport at the 1984 Paralympic Games, although weightlifting made its Games debut at the Tokyo 1964 Paralympics.

Since Barcelona 1992 only powerlifting is part of the Paralympic Games programme with weightlifting no longer featuring.

Women were first allowed to compete in Paralympic powerlifting at the Sydney 2000 Games.


Iran Para Powerlifting

Iran men’s Para Powerlifting made its debut in 1980 and the first edition of National Championships was held in the same year.

Eight years later, Team Iran experienced its first international appearance at Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games.

Iranian Stars and Debutants

** In 2012, Iran’s 24-year-old Siamand Rahman won gold at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, breaking the Paralympic record of 265kg that was previously held by his teammate Kazem Rajabi with his first lift of 270kg and broke it again with his second attempt of 280kg. In 2016, history was made by Rahman when he cleared the bar at an unprecedented 310 kg to break the world record, equivalent to two baby elephants!

Iranian Para Powerlifting legend passed away at the age of 32 on March 1st, 2020, after suffering a heart attack.

** Iran Women’s Para Powerlifting made its debut in 2019.

The first edition of National Championships was held in the same year. National women’s para powerlifters’ first appearance at the Asia-Oceania Open Championships in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Women’s squad claimed three Bronzes in Hangzhou 2022 to make its debut at the Asian Para Games.

 Athletes activating in this sport are under support of IRISFE which the federation is member IRI National Paralympic Committee. 



Watch an introduction to the sport on Paralympic Sports A-Z: Para Powerlifting