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Club 600

by Arthur Chidlovski (2009)

The Club 600 is a listing of Olympic weightlifters who managed to lift 600 kg in total consisting of the following lifts:

The Club 600 had been officially established by Vasily Alexeev, USSR in 1970 when he lifted 600 KG in total in Minsk, Belarus, USSR. However, the new membership to the club had been officially closed on January 1, 1973 when when the press lift was eliminated by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). With the press lifting out, athletes continued to compete in total of their snatch and clean-and-jerk lifts.

Only five athletes were able to join the Club 600 based on their participation in the official Olympic weightlifting competitions. Here is the list of athletes in the Club 600:

Club 600

  Athlete Nat. Class Total Date, Tournament
1. Vasily ALEXEEV SOV Superheavy 645KG (235+172.5+237.5) 1972, USSR Nationals, Tallinn, USSR
2. Ken PATERA USA Superheavy 632.5KG (229+175+229) 1972, Olympic Tune-Up, San Francisco, USA
3. Rudolf MANG GER Superheavy 630KG (230+177.5+222.5) 1972, European Championship, Constanta, Romania
4. Serge REDING BEL Superheavy 620KG (220+175+225) 1972, International Tournament, Lille, France
5. Stanislav BATISHCHEV SOV Superheavy 620KG (220+175+225) 1972, USSR Nationals, Tallinn, USSR

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The Number ONE in the club is legendary Vasily Alexeev from Shakhty, Russia. Besides opening the Club 600, the King of the superheavyweights of the 1970s, Alexeev actually pushed the world record passed the 600KG mark on 16 (!!!) occasions:

The Number TWO belongs to Ken Patera from Portland, Oregon, USA. Patera was an unbelievably strong athlete. His forte was the press lift. For the first time, Patera joined the Club 600 in June 1972 at the Senior Nationals and Olympic Trials in Detroit with 607.5KG (217.5+162.5+227.5). A month later, Patera set up the second best result in total ever - 632.5KG at the Olympic Tune-Up in San Francisco. Considered as a serious candidate for the medals, Patera failed to total at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.

The Number THREE in the Club is Rudolf Mang from Bellenberg, Germany. Native of Bavarian mountains, Mang is the youngest athlete who managed to join the Club 600. First time it happened when he was only 21 - at the 1971 Europeans in Sofia, Bulgaria he totaled 602.5KG (212.5+175+215). A year later, at the Europeans in Constanta, Romania, Mang managed to beat unbeatable Alexeev in the press and the snatch lifts. Alexeev barely won the gold by winning in the clean-and-jerk part. Mang's 630KG total was worth a silver medal and only 2.5 kilos short of gold.

The Number FOUR is legendary gentle giant Serge Reding, librarian from Brussels, Belgium. At only 5'8", Reding competed in the superheavyweight class and was extremely strong both by his results and inpressive physique. He was the second lifter who managed to lift 600KG (217,5 + 165 + 217.5) in 1970. in his hometown of Brussels. Two years later, at the international tournament in Lille, France, he showed the 4th results in total ever - 620KG. Three years later, Reding died in Manila at the age of 34.

The Number FIVE in the Club went to Stanislav Batishchev from the coalminers' city Donetsk, Ukraine. Batishchev was an extremely strong Soviet super who happened to be second best to Leonid Zhabotinsky and then to Vasily Alexeev. In fact, he won a gold medal on a top international tournament only once - in 1967 when the world championship in Japan was cancelled and the top lifters competed in the Mexico City at the 1967 Pre-Olympics. The tournament was nick-named Litle Olympics and Stanislav won the gold there. At 32, Batishchev joined the Club 600 with 620KG total at the 1972 USSR Nationals in Tallinn, Estonia.

Notes: Special thanks to information and corrections used in this article and provided by Steve Gough, Randy Herndon, Ron Mann, Bill Shine and other experts of the GoHeavy.

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