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Iran's Hercules Hossein Rezazadeh eyes world weightlifting gold

World's +105 kg defending champion, Hossein Rezazadeh, Tuesday said he is in Vancouver to win the gold of the 73rd World Weightlifting Championships, IRNA reported.

Rezazadeh, who arrived in the Canadian city Monday night told IRNA the world events prior to the Olympic Games have been always much more difficult than other events and the competitions in Vancouver will be surely tougher than the previous editions.

The 73rd world meet was inaugurated in Vancouver Friday night.


Former Bulgarian-born weightlifter of Turkey, Naim Suleymanoglu, said Hossein Rezazadeh of Iran is the best weightlifter of the world. Talking to IRNA, the advisor to the Turkish Weightlifting Federation president added Rezazadeh due to his age has the potential to keep being No. 1 in the world for years.

Suleymanoglu, who is also the vice-president of the International Weightlifting Federation termed Iran as one of the top teams participating in the 73rd edition.

Known as 'Pocket Hercules', Suleymanoglu invited the 'Strongest Man of the World' Rezazadeh on Nov 29, 2002 to change his nationality and become a member of Turkey's national side.

The three-times 64 kg world champion in 1984, 1985, and 1986 backing home from Warsaw -- the venue of the 72nd World Weightlifting Championships -- offered his proposal to the Iranian heavyweight gold medalist in Istanbul Airport, enticing him with a 10-million-dollar deal plus housing, luxury cars, and other welfare facilities for membership in Turkey's team.

Rezazadeh rejected the tempting offer saying, "I am an Iranian and love my country and people."

According to Suleymanoglu, the officials of Turkey's Weightlifting Federation have great desire for winning the world gold medal of +105 kg category in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Rezazadeh grabbed three gold medals in the 2002 World Weightlifting Championships in Warsaw, capital of Poland, breaking the world record.

He lifted a total weight of 472.5 kg, and broke the world record by 0.5 kg by clearing 263 kg in clean and jerk, the first time ever for any weightlifter.

The 1.52-meter-high Turkish weightlifter Naim Suleimanov was born in Bulgaria. In 1986, he was given Turkish citizenship and a new name Naum Shalamanov. Later he was renamed Naim Suleymanoglu. Turkey paid Bulgaria one million dollars.

He became world record holder in Melbourne in 1986 but the Pocket Hercules failed in his attempt to win a fourth gold in the Sydney Games in 2000.


Iran finished third at the 2002 World Weightlifting Championships in Warsaw, Poland, after China and Bulgaria, winning three gold and three bronze medals.

Rezazadeh, who smashed the world record in the +105 kg category was hardly troubled by his rivals on his way toward winning three gold medals of the class.

He lifted a total of 472.5 kg, breaking the world record by 0.5 kg by clearing 263 kg in clean and jerk, the first time ever for any weightlifter in the category.

Iran's 77 kg weightlifter, Mohammad-Hossein Barkhah lifted 165 kg in snatch, and ranked third after his Chinese and Bulgarian competitors who totaled 172.5 kg and 170 kg to win the gold and silver medals, respectively.

Barkhah in clean and jerk was able to lift 200 kg, and ranked fourth for his weight difference with his Bulgarian and Turkish competitors, who won the silver and bronze medals.

Kourosh Baqeri of Iran snatched the bronze medal of 94 kg category.

The former world gold medalist, Baqeri failed to lift 177.5 and 180 kg in snatch and was eliminated.

In clean-and-jerk class, the Iranian lifted 210 kg, finishing third.

Hossein Tavakkoli, Iran's gold medalist of the category at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, lifted 185 kg in snatch, standing seventh due to his weight excess in comparison with his Turkish rival Bunyami Sudas and Alan Cagajew from Bulgaria.

China celebrated the title with eight golds, four silvers, and one bronze and Bulgaria finished runner-up, taking four golds, eight silvers, and three bronzes.

... Payvand News - 11/18/03 ... --

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