A record of 754 lifters will be participating in the 76th men's and 19th women's world weightlifting championships, which opened in Chiang Mai on Sunday.
It was the second time for the historical city from northern Thailand to host the worlds. The worlds in 1997 was also held in Chiang Mai.
"The number of of the lifters in the worlds created a record in recent years," said Boossaba Yodbangtoey, president of Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association.
"It is one of the qualification competitions for the Olympics Games in Beijing. And every lifter will try to earn the Olympic berths here," added she.
Altogether 245 female and 509 male lifters from 98 countries and regions have been registered to compete in eight categories for men and seven categories for women at the championships.
Forty-five gold medals are up for grab in the 15 categories each with the titles of snatch, clean and jerk, and total.
"I believe that the world championships will elevate international sports realm into a higher level and will strengthen relationships among countries and regions," she said.
"Moreover, this event will not only encourage Thai youth to their favorite sports but also will unveil great potential of Thailand in organizing such international events."
As one of the oldest sports in the world, weightlifting could date back to the ancient times (774 B.C.).