Weightlifting Throwback: Leonid Taranenko Attempts a 270 Clean & Jerk!

On Christmas Eve, the best weightlifting video we’ve seen — or at least most interesting, the actual resolution isn’t anything to write home about — is a true throwback. It’s a video from the 1987 European Weightlifting Cup Gala, a tournament that showcased some of the top lifters of the era. And while the video features tons of great lifting in 55 minutes, the most impressive attempt is actually a miss toward the end of the video (roughly the 54:20 mark).

It’s Soviet/Belarusian superheavyweight Leonid Taranenko attempting a 270kg clean & jerk, and it’s certainly worth a watch — just minutes after attempting 266kg. Check out the lift below.

For those not aware, Taranenko actually hit a 266kg clean & jerk the following year for what remains the all-time heaviest clean & jerk in international competition. But what’s especially remarkable about the above video is that 270kg is the heaviest weight (on video) we’ve ever seen a lifter rack to their shoulders, though Taranenko was unsuccessful in standing it up. It’s worth noting that there ARE videos of lifters completing 270kg rack jerks in training, which you can watch here.

Another interesting tidbit: Though Taranenko’s 270kg attempt is perhaps the closest we’ve seen anyone come to cleaning that weight on video, it’s not the heaviest clean & jerk attempt in international competition history. That distinction belongs to Russian superheavyweight Andrei Chemerkin, who attempted 272.5kg — for what would have been a comeback victory — at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

You can view that attempt below.

An impressive pull, but certainly not in the same realm as Taranenko’s attempt as far as where he actually got the bar.

Featured image: Weightlifting News Agent on YouTube

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