I appreciated Liz Clarke's article "U.S. Weightlifters Keeping It Light" [Sports, June 22], which brought attention to women's weightlifting, part of the 2004 Olympics.

However, as a former power lifter, I take exception to her comments that unfavorably compared power lifting with weight lifting. "It's not power lifting, either," she wrote, "where athletes hoist as much weight as possible without regard to form or control."

Power lifting consists of three lifts -- squat, bench press and deadlift. Each must conform to technical rules to count as a legal lift in competition.

For example, to perform a legal squat, the lifter must squat down such that the hip joint reaches a point lower than the knee joint and the line of the thighs goes lower than parallel to the floor. The lifter must not allow the bar to dip to one side; the bar must remain parallel to the floor at all times.

Judges observe each lift to determine that it complies with the technical rules.

Performing a squat, bench press or deadlift requires a great deal of regard to form and control, not only to ensure that the lift counts in competition but to avoid injury when hoisting maximum weight.

JULIE MARTIN

Rockville