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Naim Süleymanoğlu

Full name: Naim Süleymanoğlu
Other name(s): Naim Suleimanov, Naum Shalamonov, Наим Сюлейманов, Наум Шаламанов
Nickname(s): The Pocket Hercules
Gender: Male
Height: 4-11 (150 cm)
Weight: 60-64 kg
Born: January 23, 1967 in Ptichar, Kardzhali, Bulgaria
Country: TUR Turkey
Sport: Weightlifting

Related Olympians: Brother of Muharrem Süleymanoğlu.

Medals: 3 Gold (3 Total)

Biography

It is likely that Naim Süleymanoğlu is the strongest man who has ever lived, pound-for-pound. Nicknamed “The Pocket Hercules,” he first came to international acclaim at age 14 at the World Junior Championships in São Paulo. He set his first world record at age 15, and at the 1984 European Championships he became the second man (after Bulgaria's Stefan Topurov) to lift three times bodyweight overhead. Süleymanoğlu was also the first man to snatch 2½ times his own bodyweight (27 April 1988). Prior to the 1988 Olympics, he had set 32 world records before he was 22 years old. At the 1988 Olympics, Süleymanoğlu was absolutely dominant, lifting a weight which would have won the weight class above his. He was born in Bulgaria and represented them until he defected to Turkey at the 1986 World Cup finals. Born Naim Suleimanov and of Bulgarian Turkish descent, he had made the decision a year before and was quite upset when the Bulgarians changed his name to Naum Shalamanov in 1985, to remove vestiges of its Turkish origins. Once in Turkey, he changed the name again to a more Turkish one. In order to compete internationally for Turkey, the Bulgarian government was paid $1,000,000 by Turkey. Süleymanoğlu was World Champion at 60 kg. in 1985, 1986, 1989, and 1991 and European Champion in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1988. He did not compete in 1987 because he had recently defected and was not allowed to until the Turkish authorities received permission from the Bulgarians. He also did not compete in 1990, retiring briefly before making a successful comeback. In 1992 at Barcelona, he defended his Olympic championship despite his recent retirement, and he won his third Olympic gold medal in 1996 at Atlanta. He also competed at Sydney in 2000 but failed to medal. He later entered politics in Turkey.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1988 Summer 21 Seoul Weightlifting Men's Featherweight Turkey TUR 1 Gold WR
1992 Summer 25 Barcelona Weightlifting Men's Featherweight Turkey TUR 1 Gold
1996 Summer 29 Atlanta Weightlifting Men's Featherweight Turkey TUR 1 Gold WR
2000 Summer 33 Sydney Weightlifting Men's Featherweight Turkey TUR AC DNF

Men's Featherweight

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank K S/F
1988 Summer 21 Seoul Weightlifting Turkey TUR Final Standings 1 342.5
1988 Summer 21 Seoul Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch 1 152.5
1988 Summer 21 Seoul Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch Lift #1 AC 145.0 o
1988 Summer 21 Seoul Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch Lift #2 AC 150.0 o
1988 Summer 21 Seoul Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch Lift #3 AC 152.5 o
1988 Summer 21 Seoul Weightlifting Turkey TUR Clean & Jerk 1 190.0
1988 Summer 21 Seoul Weightlifting Turkey TUR Clean & Jerk Lift #1 AC 175.0 o
1988 Summer 21 Seoul Weightlifting Turkey TUR Clean & Jerk Lift #2 AC 188.5 o
1988 Summer 21 Seoul Weightlifting Turkey TUR Clean & Jerk Lift #3 AC 190.0 o
1992 Summer 25 Barcelona Weightlifting Turkey TUR Final Standings 1 320.0
1992 Summer 25 Barcelona Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch 1 142.5
1992 Summer 25 Barcelona Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch Lift #1 AC 142.5 o
1992 Summer 25 Barcelona Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch Lift #2 AC 153.0 x
1992 Summer 25 Barcelona Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch Lift #3 AC 153.0 x
1992 Summer 25 Barcelona Weightlifting Turkey TUR Clean & Jerk 1 177.5
1992 Summer 25 Barcelona Weightlifting Turkey TUR Clean & Jerk Lift #1 AC 170.0 o
1992 Summer 25 Barcelona Weightlifting Turkey TUR Clean & Jerk Lift #2 AC 177.5 o
1996 Summer 29 Atlanta Weightlifting Turkey TUR Final Standings 1 335.0
1996 Summer 29 Atlanta Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch 1 147.5
1996 Summer 29 Atlanta Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch Lift #1 AC 145.0 o
1996 Summer 29 Atlanta Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch Lift #2 AC 147.5 x
1996 Summer 29 Atlanta Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch Lift #3 AC 147.5 o
1996 Summer 29 Atlanta Weightlifting Turkey TUR Clean & Jerk 1T 187.5
1996 Summer 29 Atlanta Weightlifting Turkey TUR Clean & Jerk Lift #1 AC 180.0 o
1996 Summer 29 Atlanta Weightlifting Turkey TUR Clean & Jerk Lift #2 AC 185.0 o
1996 Summer 29 Atlanta Weightlifting Turkey TUR Clean & Jerk Lift #3 AC 187.5 o
2000 Summer 33 Sydney Weightlifting Turkey TUR Final Standings AC
2000 Summer 33 Sydney Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch AC
2000 Summer 33 Sydney Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch Lift #1 AC 145.0 x
2000 Summer 33 Sydney Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch Lift #2 AC 145.0 x
2000 Summer 33 Sydney Weightlifting Turkey TUR Snatch Lift #3 AC 145.0 x
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