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What is Powerlifting? A Prayer for Charles Narh

By Dennis Moore

Ghana's Charles Narh will be in action very soon in a sport that requires enormous strength in the usage of the biceps .He has gone through several trials with tremendous output earning him a hard won place at this year's Paralympics.

The entire sporting fraternity is given a highlight regarding what paralifting really is…

HISTORY OF POWERLIFTING AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES

After its initial introduction to the Paralympic Games at Tokyo in 1964, when it was billed as Weightlifting, the sport now known as Powerlifting underwent a major transition. It expanded to include athletes with cerebral palsy or spinal injuries, lower-limb amputees and 'les autres' ('the other' disability groups). Women made their Powerlifting debut at Sydney 2000 and the sport has continued to grow at a rapid rate ever since.

POWERLIFTING
Power lifting is a bench-press competition – the ultimate test of upper-body strength.

With athletes from more than 100 countries now involved in international competition, it is one of the world's fastest-growing sports. The bench-press contest offers a tense and dramatic sporting spectacle, as athletes battle to lift more weight than their rivals.

FACTS ABOUT THE SPORT
• Athletes compete lying on a bench that is 40-50cm off the ground.

• There are currently more than 5,500 male and female lifters in the world ranking lists.

• The top three reasons for having a lift disqualified are: not fully extending the arms; not lifting the bar in a single, smooth movement; or not holding the bar motionless on the chest.

Competition begins on the 30th of august till the 5th of September 2012.and the venue will be the excel arena.

There will be 200 competitors in powerlifting---120men and 80 women.

Each country is limited to a total of 16 athletes (eight men and eight women), with a maximum of one athlete in each event.

Interestingly, Competitors are classified by bodyweight alone: athletes with different impairments compete for the same medals.

FIELD OF PLAY
Athletes compete on a 4m x 4m platform, which is raised no higher than 50cm from the ground.

BASICS
In Power lifting, athletes must meet a minimum eligibility criteria based on their impairment. They are then grouped by bodyweight for competition, which means athletes with different impairments compete for the same medals. There are 10 different weight categories for men and for women.

Power lifters must lower the bench-press bar to their chest, hold it motionless, and then press it upwards to arm's length while keeping