Weightlifting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's one hand lift

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One hand lift
at the Games of the I Olympiad
VenuePanathinaiko Stadium
DateApril 7
Competitors4 from 3 nations
1st, gold medalist(s) Launceston Elliot
 Great Britain
2nd, silver medalist(s) Viggo Jensen
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Alexandros Nikolopoulos

The men's one hand lift, an event similar to the modern snatch, was one of two weightlifting events in the Weightlifting at the 1896 Summer Olympics programme. Lifters received three attempts. Each lifter performed one attempt before any began their second attempts. After each had lifted three times, the top three received three more attempts.

In the second weightlifting event, held soon after the first, only one hand was allowed in lifting the weights. Lifters had to perform the lift with each hand successively. The technique was similar to the modern snatch event. Jensen, injured from the first event, was able to lift only enough to earn a silver medal while Elliot far surpassed all of the other athletes in the field on his way to winning the United Kingdom's first gold medal of the Olympics.

Nikolopoulos lifted 57.0 kilograms with one hand, which would have put him in a tie with Jensen had he lifted the same weight with his other hand. He lifted only 40.0 kilograms with the other, but was awarded third place as Versis could only lift 40.0 with either hand.


Place Lifter Weight
1  Launceston Elliot (GBR) 71.0 kg
2  Viggo Jensen (DEN) 57.0 kg
3  Alexandros Nikolopoulos (GRE) 57.0 kg/40.0 kg
4  Sotirios Versis (GRE) 40.0 kg


  • Lampros, S.P.; Polites, N.G.; De Coubertin, Pierre; Philemon, P.J. & Anninos, C. (1897). The Olympic Games: BC 776 – AD 1896. Athens: Charles Beck. (Digitally available at [1])
  • Mallon, Bill & Widlund, Ture (1998). The 1896 Olympic Games. Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary. Jefferson: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0379-9. (Excerpt available at [2])
  • Smith, Michael Llewellyn (2004). Olympics in Athens 1896. The Invention of the Modern Olympic Games. London: Profile Books. ISBN 1-86197-342-X.