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Updated at 2:10 pm on 23 July 2012
Men's weightlifting featured at the first modern Olympics in Athens 1896, but women weren't allowed into the ring until the Sydney Games in 2000.
New Zealand first competed at the Olympics in London in 1948, represented by Maurice Crowe. Since then, 15 men and one woman have taken part, but without medal success.
Richie Patterson is the country's only representative in London this year, competing in the 85kg class. It will be his second Olympics after competing at the Beijing Games in 2008, where he finished 21st.
The 29-year-old was a silver medallist at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and broke six national records in 2012, as well as winning the Oceania and Commonwealth Championships in June.
He finished championships with a 334kg total and scored a 345kg total at an Auckland meet in April - the second highest score in New Zealand history.
However, Patterson says those competitions simply can't compare with the Olympics - and he's aiming for a top 10 finish in London.
There will be eight men's and seven women's weight categories at the London Games.
Each lifter is allowed three attempts at the snatch and three attempts at the clean and jerk. Their best lifts are combined for an overall result. Competitors are eliminated if no valid lift in the snatch is made.
Some information sourced from www.olympic.org.nz
Wrestling events are being held at the ExCel venue from 5 August to 12 August.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand
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