Prognosis of World Records

Prognosis of World Records
A.S. Medvedyev
Teoriya I Praktika Fizicheskoi Kulyury
3: 2000
Translated by Andrew Charniga

A prior article “Prognosis of the World Records in Weightlifting and the use of Performance Enhancers”, 1994; Teoriya I Praktika Fizicheskoi Kultury, demonstrated scientifically that the progress in world records during the period 1970 – 1990 was conditioned by the use of performance enhancers.

We utilized the world records established between 1924 to 1990 in the snatch and the clean and jerk for the statistical material.

Our task was to prognosticate the improvement in these exercises by the year 2010 and to reveal the affect the use of performance enhancers have on the rate of improvement.
We also considered what will the records in the these exercises be in 2010 without the use of the aforementioned means. We excluded the following weight classes in our calculations:110, 100, 90 and 52 kg.

We utilized the world records established up to the end of 1992, after which the International Weightlifting Federation established new weight classes.

According to our research, there was only one world record established in 1992, 2- 1991; 1 – 1989; 6 – 1988; 6 – 1987 and only one world record in 1983 (of the world records in place at the end of 1992). So, you can see that the majority of world records (16 of 20) were established between 1983 and 1988. This situation lead to the conclusion that the use of these performance enhancers had had pushed results to some level, close to the limit, the surpassing of which would require not only the overhaul of the technological preparation of lifters; but devising another system of restorative means.

However, it is necessary to point – out that the lifters from Bulgaria and the USSR set most of the world records(75%) from 1973 to 1992 and the remaining 25% were from China, Turkey and Rumania.


TIAN (CHN). Charniga photo

Our data shows best results in the snatch and the clean and jerk decreased, in all weight classes, beginning in 1993; as a result of, in our opinion, of the continued improvement in the drug testing (see tables 1 & 2).

Inn section “A” of the tables are the world records as of December 31, 1992; the best results in the World and Olympic Championships from 1993 – 1996 are depicted in section “B”; the ratios of the best results from 1993 – 1996 to the records as of 12/31/92 as a percentage (section B +/- %); section “G” is the time it would take to equal the results established by 1992 without performance enhancers.

Before discussing the tables, let’s consider the following facts. The International Weightlifting federation altered the weight classes twice, beginning in 1993 and world records could only be established at Continental, World or Olympic Games.

However, this does not change our earlier conclusions, because we utilized the weight class coefficients table to compensate for the different weight categories. These coefficients show how many times the absolute strength of an athletes of a given weight (and of equivalent sport mastery) is of a lesser absolute strength of the athletes in the second category.

For example, at the 1994 World Championships the best result in the 70 kg class was 160 kgs (a coefficient of 1.354 according to table 3). However, using the coefficients to compare these results, a snatch of 160 kgs at 70 kgs in 1994 is equal to 156.3 kgs by a 67.5 kg lifter in 1992.

This coefficient method can be utilized to determine the actual preparedness of a lifter for competition, depending on the amount of weight reduced. For example, if an athlete has a best result of 170 kgs in training (the weight class does not depend on the specific exercise). Three times, the result was achieved at three different bodyweights: 62, 60, 58 kgs. However, the athlete must compete at 56 kgs. So, in reality, his actual preparedness for competition would be different: in the first case 155 kgs (170 x 1.494/1.646); in the second – 157.5 kgs (170 x 1.533/1.646) and in the third – 165 (170 x 1.59/1.646). This information is presented in more detail in “ A System of Multi – Year Training in Weightlifting” (A.S. Medvedyev, 1986).

Now let’s look at the level of sports mastery (LSM) of the strongest lifters using the coefficients to compare the results form the 1993 – 1998 period to the world records in place at the end of 1992.

Let’s begin with the snatch (see table 1). You can see that the record of 1992 in the 54 kg class (52 kgs in 1992) was increased by the Turkish lifter H. Mutlu. Mutlu raised this result over the next three years. The sportsman improved the maximum LSM by 5% in 1996 over that achieved in 1992.

The 59 kg weight class experienced stagnation over this same 5 year period. Only after the weight class was changed again in 1998, making it 56 kgs, the same as Multu’s did the record exceed that of 1991 by 0.4%.

A similar situation occurred in the 64 kg class. Here L. Sabinas from Greece had the best results from 1993 – 1998, in 1998, but this results was 5.8% below that of the 1992 record.

In 1996 H. Chang of PRK had a result which exceeded the world record of 1989 by only 0.8%. The best results of 1997 and 1998 were lower.

The same situation occurred in the 76 kg class. Here the maximum was 0.7% below that achieved in 1987. But this was accomplished by the Ukrainian lifter N. Shevchenko in 1993, i.e., six years later. This difference was small, but there was no improvement over the subsequent 5 years (1994 – 98).

In the 83 kg class the world record was established even earlier – 1986. Between 1993 – 95 the results were stuck at the same level, until 1996 when there was a small increse by Olympic Champion P. Dimas from Greece. So, this result decreased by 2% from the already established world record. Between 1997 and 1998 the LSM declined.

The oldest world record dating to 1983, was achieved in the 91 kg class. 12 –years later the Kazak athlete A. Khrapaty achieved a result which was 2.8% less than this record. The LSM declined even lower during the Olympic cycle of 1993 – 1996.

The world record in the 99 kg class was established by the Romanian N. Vlad in 1986. However, by 1994 C. Syrtsov of Russia had the highest result in this weight class which was 3.5% below that of the Romanian. In the subsequent three years the results declined and by 1997 they were 10% lower than the previous record.

At the Seoul Olympics in 1988 Y. Zhakarevich snatched an astonishing 210 kgs. The best results in the intervening years was by N. Vlad in 1994 – 6 years later, and 4% lower. Excluding 1988, the results in this class have been stagnant.


A. Lovchev (RUS). Charniga photo

Finally, the Bulgarian A. Krastev snatched 216 kgs in 1987. The athletes in this class were unable to match this result over the following 11 years, even though they consistently lifted 200 and 205 kgs at the world championships and Olympic games. Only R Weller from Germany was able to lift 205.5 kg which was 95.2% of Krastev’s record.

So, over the period of time studied, the record of 1992 was exceeded in only one weight class (54 kg) in 1996 by 5% and the record in the 56 kg class of 1991 was repeated in 1998. In all the remaining cases the best results lagged behind the prior records by an average of 2.7% (from 0.7 to 5.6%).

A similar picture emerges from our analysis of the clean and jerk. The results are presented in table 2. Here the lag behind the previous records was greater than in the snatch; an average of 3.8% (from 1 to 6.4%) {all weight classes}. Let’s look at the LSM in each weight class.

Well then, the smallest lag occurred in the 54 kg class – 1%. The Turkish lifter Mutlu achieved this result in 1994, i.e., three years after the record was established. The results of the remaining three years were stable; close to that of the Turkish lifter.

In the 59 kg class once again the highest result was achieved by Mutltu in 1998, in the 56 kg class; but, this was 3.2% below the record set 11 years ago (1987).

The 64 kg class was completely dominated for the next eight years by another Turk – N. Suleimanoglu. He set the record in 1988, which he could not only not improve on, but he was unable to even equal it. He made his best result in this period in 1996 when he won his third Olympic gold medal. However, his result was 6.4% lower. This was the greatest disparity in this exercise for all of the weight classes.

The world record in the clean and jerk for the 67.5 kg class was 200.5 kg, established in 1987. The equivalent results (using the coeffificient to compare the weight classes 70 and 69 kg) for the years 1993 – 1996 were 183.2; 185.6; 185.6 and 190.5 kg. The last result belonged to K. Chang of China and was also his best result in 1997. This was a negative deficit of 5.5%. In 1998 the LSM declined to 187.2 kg.

In the 75 kg class the world record had been set in 1987. Here are the dynamics relative to the record (215.5 kg) for the years 1993 – 1995, where the Cuban P. Lara, had the maximum result: 201.1; 201.1; 203.6 kg. This was 5.5% below the prior record. This remained unchanged in 1996; it subsequently declined over the next two years until it reached the lowest level in 1998.

The 83 kg class had the oldest record in the clean and jerk (1986). However, the LSM over the Olympic cycle was positive: 201.8; 209.3; 211.8; and 212.8kg. The best result was registered by the Greek, P. Dimas in 1996. However, this was 5.4% below the prior record. Then the negative balance increased in 1997 and 1998.

The Soviet lifter A. Khrapaty established the world record in the 90 kg class (235 kg) in 1988. The heaviest weight lifted in this class after six years was 227.5 by A. Petrov, in 1994. The negative balance after 1992 was 3.7%. The fact of the matter is Khrapaty’s result was matched by another Soviet K. Kakhiashivilis in 1992 when he won his first Olympic championships.

The Soviet lifter A. Popov set the record of 242.5 kg in the 100 kg class in 1988. This weight class was reduced by 1 kg in 1993. However, the drop – off in the results were quite significant. For instance, no one jerked more than 220 kg in this class from 1990 – 1992 at the world championships. The results improved over the Olympic cycle (1993 – 1996): 223.7; 226.2; 228.7; 236.3 kg. The last result was equal to a result of 235 kg for the 100 kg class. Two time Olympic champion K. Kakhashvilis from Greece made this result lifting for Greece, the same weight he made as a Soviet in the lower weight class in 1992. This was 2.6% below the 242.5 kg record. In 1997 the result dropped to 221.2 kg. And, in 1998, this weight class was eliminated.


I. Ilyn (KAZ) Charniga photo.

In 1988, Y. Zhakarevich jerked 250.5 kg. In 1996 the best result was 236 kg (equivalent to 238 kg) performed by T. Taimazov; which was 4.2% lower that Zhakarevich’s record.
No one has improved the record in the superheavyweight class in place since 1988. However, the Russsian Chemerkin, whose bodyweight reached 180kg reached a result only 1.3% below the record (266 and 262.5 kg).

Well then, our research for the eight year period, confirms our conclusions that the use of performance enhancers which accelerate the synthesis of protein, affect the clean and jerk to a greater degree than the snatch. In connection with this, if lifters were to cease using the performance enhancers, the world records established prior to 1992, in all weight classes, they will be able to improve the snatch records, but the world records in the clean and jerk will take longer.

In conclusion, it is obvious from the data in table 2 (section “G”) that the use of performance enhancers allowed lifters to reach a level of mastery, which they would not achieved for 7 – 20 years without them.

Data from Medvedyev article:
Class Snatch WR in 1992 Snatch best result Equalized Value difference
56 kg 135 135 = ———
60 152.5 147.5 143.7 -5.80%
67.5 160 162.5 158.7 -0.80%
75 170 170 168.8 -0.70%
82.5 183 180 179.4 -2.00%
90 195.5 187.5 186.5 -2.80%
110 210 200 201.7 -4.00%
Super 216 205.5 —— -4.80%
Class C & J WR in 1992 C&J Best Result  Equalized Value Difference
56 171 170 161.2 -3.20%
60 190 187.5 177.9 -6.40%
67.5 200.5 195 190.5 -5.00%
75 215.5 205 203.6 -5.50%
82.5 225 213.5 212.8 -5.40%
90 235 227.5 226.3 -3.70%
110 250.5 236 238 -4.20%
Super 266 262.5 ——– -1.30%

Submitted for publication 15/04/99.