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 9113
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 100300 8040255
2 Brazil 24938 4709655
3 Romania 24577 529755
4 India 21371 3701643
5 South Korea 19968 1724028
6 Portugal 9970 284999
7 Russia 7107 1325458
8 Iran 6383 4160735
9 Germany 4684 76363
10 United States of America 3295 1422360
11 Macedonia 3292 952978
12 United Kingdom 3285 888886
13 Syria 2939 1390432
14 Serbia 2483 211587
15 Poland 2128 405425
16 Ukraine 1725 229398
17 Saudi Arabia 1401 770137
18 Jordan 1273 518348
19 Israel 1113 67578
20 Lebanon 948 541720
21 Bulgaria 919 323607
22 France 872 84695
23 Palestine 734 152075
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina 366 360091
25 Sri Lanka 276 8833
26 Norway 252 14891
27 Greece 163 416229
28 Pakistan 152 274765
29 Iraq 83 850113
30 Italy 23 62124
31 Afghanistan 18 5591499
32 Indonesia 7 43755
33 Egypt 4 958939
34 Faroe Islands 2 3014
35 Belarus 2 2614
36 Malaysia 2 11332
37 Tunisia 2 40346
38 Spain 1 83237
39 Mexico 1 37801
40 Bahrain 1 16644
41 Bangladesh 0 3923
42 Barbados 0 0
43 Botswana 0 0
44 Belgium 0 8603
45 Belize 0 0
46 Benin 0 0
47 Bermuda 0 0
48 Bhutan 0 0
49 Bolivia 0 5434
50 Albania 0 2207
51 Algeria 0 94755
52 Andorra 0 0
53 Angola 0 0
54 Antigua and Barbuda 0 0
55 Argentina 0 59184
56 Armenia 0 1095
57 Australia 0 714
58 Austria 0 377
59 Azerbaijan 0 14798
60 Bahamas 0 0
61 Burkina Faso 0 0
62 Burundi 0 0
63 Cambodia 0 127
64 Cameroon 0 5
65 Canada 0 23166
66 Cape Verde 0 65
67 Cayman Islands 0 0
68 Central African Republic 0 0
69 Chad 0 0
70 Chile 0 10649
71 People's Republic of China 0 1001
72 Republic of China-Taiwan 0 33
73 Comoros 0 1
74 Democratic Republic of the Congo 0 0
75 Republic of the Congo 0 9
76 Cook Islands 0 0
77 Costa Rica 0 0
78 Cote d'Ivoire 0 20
79 Croatia 0 32005
80 Cuba 0 29
81 Cyprus 0 1903
82 Czech Republic 0 19817
83 Denmark 0 352
84 Djibouti 0 0
85 Dominica 0 0
86 Dominican Republic 0 0
87 Ecuador 0 4
88 Fiji Islands 0 0
89 Finland 0 8547
90 Brunei Darussalem 0 0
91 El Salvador 0 0
92 Equatorial Guinea 0 0
93 Eritrea 0 0
94 Estonia 0 0
95 Ethiopia 0 13228
96 Greenland 0 0
97 Grenada 0 0
98 Guatemala 0 0
99 Guinea 0 4
100 Guinea-Bissau 0 0