Happy Birthday to Naim Süleymanoglu!
One of the biggest characters in weightlifting Naim Süleymanoglu turned 50 today!
His nickname “Pocket Hercules” doesn’t come from his giant stature but from his giant power and magnificent technic. He was born in Bulgaria, but he achieved his biggest accomplishments under the Turkish flag from 1986 – 2000. He was World Champion in 1985 and 1986 as Bulgarian and as a Turkish weightlifter reached victories in the Men’s 60, 62 and 64 kg categories.
Only a very few weightlifters are capable to lift three times their own bodyweight, but Süleymanoglu is the only one until today who did it with an additional 10 kg.
In his glory days, he set a Clean and Jerk World Record of 190 kg in Soul in 1988 winning the Olympic Medal in the men’s 60 kg category. He became an Olympic Champion in 1992 and 1996, World Champion in Total in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1995; only to mention his biggest achievements.
He set world records multiple times but at the very first one, he was only 16 years old.
After retirement, he became the Best Weightlifter of the Century and he received the Olympic Order in 2001. He is also member of the IWF Hall of Fame.
Happy Birthday to Naim Süleymanoglu!!