Naim Süleymanoğlu

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Country: Turkey

About Naim Süleymanoğlu
Naim Süleymanoğlu (born January 23, 1967 in Ptichar, Bulgaria), formerly known as Naim Suleimanov (Bulgarian: Наим Сюлейманов), is a Bulgarian-Turkish World and Olympic Champion in weightlifting. He won three Olympic Championships, seven World Championships and six European Championships and earned 46 world records. Born in Bulgaria of Turkish descent, he was nicknamed "The Pocket Hercules" due to his small stature (1.47 meters, approx. 4 feet 10 inches). He is the second of only seven lifters to clean and jerk three times their bodyweight. Suleimanov set his first world record at the age 16 but missed his first chance at Olympic success in 1984 when Bulgaria joined the Soviet boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.Soon afterwards the Communist regime in Bulgaria forced its Turkish minority to adopt Bulgarian names and he became known internationally as Naum Shalamanov (Наум Шаламанов). While on a trip to the World Cup Final in Melbourne in 1986, Suleimanov defected. He resurfaced in Turkey and applied for citizenship. He also changed his name from the Bulgarian Suleimanov/Shalamanov to the Turkish Süleymanoğlu. After the fall of Communism in Bulgaria, his family was able to join him in Turkey. A battle over which country he would represent in the 1988 Seoul Olympics arose. The Bulgarian government demanded and received $1,000,000 from Turkey to allow him to compete for Turkey. Süleymanoğlu did not disappoint, winning the featherweight gold medal. He retired at the age of 22, after winning the world championship in 1989. However, the allure of competition was too strong and he returned in 1991 before winning a second Olympic gold medal at Barcelona in 1992. Between the Olympiads, Süleymanoğlu continued to win world titles and set records. The 1996 Olympic Games were to be his swansong and he retired after winning a third consecutive Olympic gold medal in Atlanta at the 1996 Olympic Games. Süleymanoğlu made another comeback in a late attempt to earn a fourth gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney but failed to lift 145 kg, which would have been a World record, and was eliminated from the competition. He was awarded the Olympic Order in 2001. In 2000 and 2004 he was elected member of the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame. At the 1999 general elections, he stood as an independent candidate to represent Bursa at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. In 2002 he was the candidate of the Nationalist Movement Party for the mayor of Kıraç municipality in Büyükçekmece district of Istanbul Province and represented the same party in general elections in 2006. He was unsuccessful in all these attempts.

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Turkey Athletes Ranking

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Rank Name Total
3. Koca Yusuf 9118
4. Halil Akkaş 7760
5. Kurtdereli Mehmet 6390
6. İpek Şenoğlu 3365
7. Naim Süleymanoğlu 3315
8. Yaşar Doğu 2164
9. Kenan Sofuoğlu 1341
10. Süreyya Ayhan Kop 1124
11. Eşref Apak 854

Athletes Ranking

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Rank Name Total
61. César Cielo 3490
62. Apolo Anton Ohno 3442
63. İpek Şenoğlu 3365
64. Saeed Ajmal 3361
65. Naim Süleymanoğlu 3315
66. Piros Dimas 3062
67. Shahid Afridi 2717
68. David Bautista 2625
69. Ivan Patzaichin 2611

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# Name Today Total
1 Turkey 203828 8143783
2 Romania 53187 558365
3 Brazil 51714 4736431
4 South Korea 42721 1746781
5 India 42022 3722294
6 Portugal 23625 298654
7 Russia 17006 1335357
8 Iran 14138 4168490
9 United Kingdom 7208 892809
10 Germany 6849 78528
11 Macedonia 6841 956527
12 United States of America 6829 1425894
13 Syria 6606 1394099
14 Serbia 5918 215022
15 Poland 3771 407068
16 Ukraine 3746 231419
17 Israel 3048 69513
18 Lebanon 2454 543226
19 Jordan 2263 519338
20 Saudi Arabia 2169 770905
21 France 1751 85574
22 Bulgaria 1725 324413
23 Palestine 1397 152738
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina 829 360554
25 Norway 707 15346
26 Sri Lanka 633 9190
27 Slovakia 515 12395
28 Pakistan 350 274963
29 Iraq 203 850233
30 Italy 199 62300
31 Greece 174 416240
32 Afghanistan 47 5591528
33 Estonia 43 43
34 Latvia 42 42
35 Czech Republic 40 19857
36 Spain 22 83258
37 Argentina 21 59205
38 Lithuania 17 52
39 Egypt 13 958948
40 Hungary 13 2688
41 Monaco 10 41
42 Slovenia 10 67
43 Canada 9 23175
44 Indonesia 8 43756
45 Uruguay 7 513
46 Belarus 5 2617
47 Malaysia 4 11334
48 Faroe Islands 2 3014
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50 Swaziland 2 2
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52 Switzerland 1 603122
53 Ethiopia 1 13229
54 Bahrain 1 16644
55 Mexico 1 37801
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71 Ireland 0 2249
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