2016 Rio Olympic Games gold-medalist Lasha Talakhadze is a beast on the bench. On March 20, 2021, Doctor of Georgian Weightlifting team Giorgi Tchintcharauli shared a video on his Instagram page of a bench press contest between him and Talakhadze, who competes in the +109-kilogram weight class. The doctor and the weightlifting champion battled it out on the bench for three sets of the following escalating weights:
- Set one — 140 kilograms (308.6 pounds)
- Set two — 160 kilograms (352.7 pounds)
- Set three — 180 kilograms (396.8 pounds), 182 kilograms (401.2 pounds)
Tchintcharauli and Talakhadze both knocked out 10 reps each in set one. Talakhadze then smashed five reps of 160 kilograms (352.7 pounds) to Tchintcharauli’s two reps. The strongest weightlifter of all-time finished with three reps of 180 kilograms (396.8 pounds) to best Tchintcharauli’s failed attempt of 182 kilograms (401.2 pounds).
Check out the full head-to-head battle via Tchintcharauli’s IGTV video reposted by BarBend‘s Instagram page:
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It should come as no surprise that Talakhadze is capable of a powerful bench press, even though it is not a typical movement among Olympic weightlifters. Talakhadze has won the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) European Championships four times (2016-19), the IWF World Championships four times (2015, 2017-19), and earned gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with the following stats:
- Snatch — 215 kilograms (474 pounds)
- Clean & Jerk — 258 kilograms (568.8 pounds)
- Total — 473 kilograms (1,042.8 pounds)
Talakhadze’s 473-kilogram total was a world record at the time and is the current Olympic record to this day.
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Those are not his personal best lifts, though. He has since hit the heaviest ever clean & jerk caught on camera — 267 kilograms (588.6 pounds), clean pulled 310 kilograms (683.4 pounds), and holds the world records for the snatch, clean & jerk, and total in the +109-kilogram class:
- Snatch — 220 kilograms (485 pounds)
- Clean & Jerk — 264 kilograms (582 pounds)
- Total — 484 kilograms (1,067 pounds)
He set all three records at the 2019 IWF World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand.
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Talakhadze has said in a previous interview with Oleksiy Torokhtiy that he is training to be the first person ever to hit a 500-kilogram (1,102.3-pound) total. We are excited to see if the strongest weightlifter in history will achieve that milestone feat while defending his title at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Featured Image via Lasha Talakhadze’s Instagram page: @talakhadzelasha_official