Tehran, March 2, IRNA -- Hossein Rezazadeh, the strongest man of the world and Iran's Champion of Champions in 2002, said on Sunday that all the sportsmen who have won medals in the world events deserve the title.
He told IRNA, "I know very well that winning a gold medal in a world sporting event is too difficult. So, every athlete who can rank first in the world is worth being decorated with `Champion of Champions' title.
Rezazadeh who has won the title for the second time added he is very pleased to be introduced once again as the best sportsman of Iran.
The world's +105 kg record holder said he has to double his efforts if he intends to retain championship in the world.
Some national weightlifters including Kourosh Baqeri were absent in the list of best sportsmen, said the world's heavyweight gold medalist in 2002.
Rezazadeh is to accompany the Iranian team in its trip to Bulgaria.
He said the main reason behind holding a joint camp with Bulgaria is to get ready for the world event to be held in Vancouver, Canada, in 2003.
The Canadian competitions are the qualifiers for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, said Rezazadeh, expressing hope the Iranian team get good results in Vancouver.
He added he aims to grab his second gold medal in the Athens Olympic Games.
Rezazadeh burst spectacularly onto the international scene at the 2000 Sydney Olympics with a superhuman lift to defeat two legends of the sport on the way to gold and the title of the `world's strongest man'.
The 24-year-old Rezazadeh took Olympic gold with a world record total of 472.5kg (212.5kg in the snatch and 260kg in the clean and jerk).
His 260kg lift was one of the heaviest in weightlifting history and proved too much for 1992 gold medalist Weller and 1996 winner Chemerkin who settled for silver and bronze respectively.
Rezazadeh won three gold medals in +105 kg category of the 72nd World Weightlifting Championships in Warsaw, Poland as he totally lifted 472.5 kg. He set a new world record in clean and jerk by 0.5 kg as he lifted 263 kilograms.
On, Jan 9, President Mohammad Khatami granted a `badge of courage' to the Ardebili weightlifter.
During a ceremony held in the presence of several ministers and other state officials at Hafezieh Cultural Complex, Khatami presented medals to 16 athletes of the land, including world-class weightlifter Hossein Rezazadeh, freestyle wrestler Alireza Dabir, and taekwondo champion Hadi Saei as a sign of acknowledging their efforts in sportsmanship.
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