Lasha Talakhadze must have a recurring subscription to strength gains. In the early hours of Saturday, August 21, 2021, a video was posted on Instagram showing the +109-kilogram Georgian weightlifter snatching 225 kilograms (495 pounds) in the training hall. The video, posted by the Team Georgia staff doctor Giorgi Tchintcharauli, shows Talakhadze comfortably hitting what would have been an official all-time world record in the snatch during his preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The two-time Olympic Champion from the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Games is the only known weightlifter in history to snatch four reds — each red plate weighing 25 kilograms — multiple times, and he did it with stunning finesse. You can check out the lift itself below:
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A video of the super-heavyweight from Georgia snatching 225 kilograms, as well as a 270-kilogram (594-pound) clean & jerk, was released after the conclusion of the European Weightlifting Championships. To date, both of those lifts are the all-time heaviest snatch and clean & jerk caught on film, respectively. It’s not uncommon for high-level weightlifters to post big training lifts after a competition has wrapped up, but few can say they’ve released footage of lifts that, a decade ago, were thought to be nearly unreachable.
A Living Legend?
With his second Olympic win (via a 223-kilogram snatch, 265-kilogram clean & jerk, and 488-kilogram total, all world records) secured in August of 2021 at the rescheduled Tokyo Games, Talakhadze was already a leading contender for the title of greatest weightlifter of all time. Footage of a second 225-kilogram snatch, confirming it as a weight the Georgian is able to repeatedly hit in the gym, further strengthens his case.
[Related: The 6 Heaviest Snatches Ever Caught on Film]
Talakhadze has disclosed his interest in achieving the legendary, as-of-yet-unattained 500-kilogram (~1,100-pound) total during his career — part of which will require a snatch of around 225 kilograms. Since his win at the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships where he lifted 220 kilograms, he has slowly released evidence of his rapid trajectory towards hitting the 500-kilogram milestone.
Lasha Talakhadze Snatch Progression
- 2017: 220 kilograms (484 pounds) — World Weightlifting Championships
- 2018: 220 kilograms (484 pounds) — Georgian National Championships
- 2019: 220 kilograms (484 pounds) — World Weightlifting Championships
- 2020: 222 kilograms (488.4 pounds) — Local Competition
- 2021 (March): 223 kilograms (490.6 pounds) — Training
- 2021 (April): 225 kilograms (495 pounds) — Training
According to Tchintcharauli’s caption on Instagram, the 225-kilogram snatch in question was actually hit earlier (July 9, 2020) than the other video (April 29, 2021) released to the public, though that may have been a typo, with the lift actually occurring on July 9, 2021. The specific timeline is not necessarily relevant, however, as Talakhadze’s snatch progression clearly shows a pattern of consistent improvement both in training and on the platform.
To Paris and Beyond
The incremental release of footage showing Talakhadze pushing the limits of human strength helps to illuminate the next few years of his professional career. Although he just wrapped up securing his second Olympic gold medal, the Georgian seems to show no sign of slowing down or losing interest in giving up his throne in the Men’s +109-kilogram division.
Despite weightlifting’s tenuous state as an Olympic event, it is currently slated to be held at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Should Talakhadze aim to hit his 500-kilogram goal at the next summer Games, he’ll need to keep racking up snatches around or above 225 kilograms. All evidence appears to point to that being a safe bet.
Featured Image: @doctor_giorgi on Instagram