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 9112
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 2575

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# Name Today Total
1 Turkey 614 7918476
2 India 91 3677079
3 Brazil 79 4681174
4 South Korea 77 1700666
5 Romania 71 501516
6 Portugal 60 273432
7 Serbia 23 208655
8 Macedonia 23 949238
9 Iran 18 4153432
10 Syria 16 1387031
11 United States of America 16 1418529
12 Ukraine 15 227474
13 United Kingdom 8 885126
14 Russia 8 1317444
15 Saudi Arabia 7 768473
16 Poland 5 402920
17 Israel 4 66252
18 France 4 83704
19 Bulgaria 4 322508
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina 3 359672
21 Pakistan 3 274570
22 Palestine 3 151223
23 Lebanon 3 540660
24 Jordan 2 516908
25 Germany 2 70742
26 Sri Lanka 1 8518
27 Sudan 0 147
28 Suriname 0 0
29 Swaziland 0 0
30 Sweden 0 22247
31 Switzerland 0 603121
32 United Arab Emirates 0 16055
33 Turkmenistan 0 4
34 Uganda 0 2
35 Tajikistan 0 17785
36 Thailand 0 1139
37 Tanzania 0 2
38 Togo 0 0
39 Tonga 0 0
40 Trinidad and Tobago 0 35
41 Tunisia 0 40344
42 Uruguay 0 506
43 Uzbekistan 0 1
44 Vanuatu 0 0
45 Venezuela 0 740
46 Vietnam 0 0
47 Western Sahara 0 0
48 Yemen 0 112
49 Zambia 0 3
50 Zimbabwe 0 0
51 Colombia 0 12200
52 Ghana 0 3
53 Greece 0 416052
54 Greenland 0 0
55 Grenada 0 0
56 Guatemala 0 0
57 Guinea 0 4
58 Guinea-Bissau 0 0
59 Guyana 0 0
60 Haiti 0 0
61 Honduras 0 0
62 Hong Kong 0 201
63 Hungary 0 2675
64 Iceland 0 230
65 Botswana 0 0
66 Brunei Darussalem 0 0
67 Gabon 0 0
68 The Gambia 0 0
69 Georgia 0 91
70 Afghanistan 0 5591481
71 Albania 0 2207
72 Algeria 0 94755
73 Andorra 0 0
74 Angola 0 0
75 Antigua and Barbuda 0 0
76 Argentina 0 59184
77 Armenia 0 1095
78 Australia 0 714
79 Austria 0 377
80 Azerbaijan 0 14798
81 Bahamas 0 0
82 Bahrain 0 16643
83 Bangladesh 0 3923
84 Barbados 0 0
85 Belarus 0 2611
86 Belgium 0 8603
87 Belize 0 0
88 Benin 0 0
89 Bermuda 0 0
90 Bhutan 0 0
91 Bolivia 0 5434
92 Burkina Faso 0 0
93 Burundi 0 0
94 Cambodia 0 127
95 Cameroon 0 5
96 Canada 0 23166
97 Cape Verde 0 65
98 Cayman Islands 0 0
99 Central African Republic 0 0
100 Chad 0 0