On April 29, 2021, Lasha Talakhadze of Georgia posted two videos to his Instagram account of him snatching 225 kilograms (496 pounds) and clean-and-jerking 270 kilograms (595 pounds). These lifts were done in training, so they don’t count as world records. However, the in-gym snatch and clean & jerk are three and six kilograms over his current world records, respectively. Combined, these two lifts equal an unofficial total of 495 kilograms (1,093 pounds), which is 10 kilograms over his world record, set at the European Weightlifting Championships.
In the video of his snatch, Talakhadze does not specify the weight. However, Giorgi Tchintcharauli — doctor of the Georgian Weightlifting team — verified the weight of Talakhadze’s snatch on his Instagram account. You can check out the snatch in the video below. Footage of the clean & jerk is farther down.
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This is the heaviest snatch and clean & jerk ever caught on film, respectively. At the EWC, held April 3-11, 2021, Talakhadze snatched 222 kilograms for a new all-time world record. The Georgian weightlifter paired that snatch with a 263-kilogram clean & jerk for a new world record total of 485 kilograms (1,069 pounds) in that same competition. Before the EWC, Talakhadze snatched 223 kilograms (491 pounds) in the gym. Before this video, Talakahdze hit the heaviest clean & jerk ever filmed in 2019.
Of course, setting world records and breaking strength barriers isn’t new to the +109-kilogram weightlifter. Talakhadze’s hit his first-ever 220-kilogram snatch at the 2017 World Championships. At the time, he competed in the +105-kilogram weight class. However, the IWF restructured the bodyweight categories in 2018, and all world records were reset. In 2019, Talakahdze set three consecutive world records in the +109-kilogram class at the World Championships in Thailand. In what’s considered a masterpiece performance, the Georgian snatched 220 kilograms, clean-and-jerked 264 kilograms (a record that remains), and totaled 484 kilograms. His snatch and total records stood until April 12, 2021.
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Beyond the standard competition lifts, Talakhadze has performed a 180-kilogram bench press for three reps, a 310-kilogram clean pull, and a 230-kilogram snatch balance. In 2016, he won a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio at +105-kilograms. He has gone on the record saying he has a goal of totaling 500 kilograms (1,102 pounds). Now, that goal doesn’t seem too out of reach.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games kick off on July 23, 2021. Heading into the event, Talakhadze is the presumptive favorite. At the European Weightlifting Championships, he out-totaled runner-up Gor Minasyan from Armenia by 21 kilograms and third-place finisher Varazdat Lalayan by 40 kilograms. Come July, weightlifting fans probably won’t be asking themselves, “Will Lasha win?” But, “by how much?”
Featured image: @talakhadzelasha_official on Instagram