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History in Color:

March 5, 1983, Moscow, Russia – Olympic vice champion Igor Nikitin of the Army Club, Lipetsk, Russia competes in the 110kg class at the 1983 Friendship Cup in Odessa.

Igor Nikitin (born in 1952) was one of the best Soviet sub heavyweights in the late 1970s – early 1980s. He competed for the Team USSR at the 1980 Summer Olympics and won a silver medal in the 100kg weight class. He also became a European vice champion in Havirov in 1978.

On the national level, Nikitin won the USSR Championships in 1980 and the USSR Cup in 1977. In his career, Igor set 4 world records – 3 in snatch and 1 in total of 2 lifts.

Igor Nikitin’s personal best were:

  • 100kg class – 410kg (187.5+222,5), 7/29/1983, Moscow

  • 110kg class – 415kg (185+230), 5/22/1982 Dnepropetrovsk


Mincho Pashov (1961-2019)

Sad news came from Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

One of the Bulgarian weightlifting greats, Mincho Pashov passed away on November 15, 2019 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

He was 58.

Mincho Pashov was one of the most impressive graduates of Ivan Abadzhiev and world famous Bulgarian weightlifting school. He was a superb athlete of his era in both junior and senior level of competitions.

At 18, Mincho marked his debut with the national team by competing for Bulgaria at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow where he won a bronze medal with a 325kg total (142.5+ 182.5) in the lightweight class.

Mincho Pashov competed in the light and middleweight classes. He won 3 silver (1981, 1982, 1985) and one bronze (1980) at the World Championships and 2 silver medals at the European Championships (1981, 1983).

Pashov set 3 world records in his career – all three in the clean-and-jerk in the 75kg class.

Our condolences go to the family and friends of Mincho Pashov.

RIP, Champion!

History in Color:

March 2, 1924, France – Top French contenders lined up at the 1924 French Championships in Olympic weightlifting (right to left) – Monnet, Rigoulot, Vandeputte, Decottignies.

In four months from this day, Charles Rigoulot (second on the right) won the gold medal in the 82.5kg class at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris.

At the moment, he was a 21-year old athlete and only local weightlifting experts knew who he was.

In four months, Rigoulot became known in the whole France and in the whole world. In a few years, he became a French celebrity and was called as the “strongest man in the world” and, perhaps, the most popular weightlifter in the world before the beginning of the World War II.


Vasily Alexeev: Strong in Paris (1971)

History in Color:

February 14, 1971, Paris, France – Legendary Vasily Alexeev snatches an opener at the Memorial Jean Dame tournament in France. Another legendary lifter, heavyweight Jaan Talts is assisting Alexeev and can be seen between the curtains in the back.

This was still an “early period” of Vasily Alexeev’s era in the super heavyweight. He was 29 and just a year ago won his first world title at the 1970 World Championships in Columbus, OH, USA.

In his career, Alexeev set 80 world records. 32 of them were in the clean-and-jerk, 17 in the press lift, 27 in total and 4 in the snatch. One of these snatch world records was actually set during the tournament in France shown on the cover photo.

Here is complete list of snatch world records set by Vasily Alexeev:

  • 177kg (Shakhty, 12/4/1970)

  • 177.5 (Paris, 2/14/1971)

  • 180kg (Moscow, 7/24/1971)

  • 187.5 (Verona, 6/6/1974)



Hans Zdrazila at the 1963 Danube Cup

History in Color:

Budapest, Hungary, 1963 – One of the best middleweights of the 1960s, Hans Zdrazila competes for Team Czechoslovakia  in the 75kg class at the 1963 Danube Cup in Danube.

In a year, Hans Zdrazila stepped up from being one of the best to being the best when he became an Olympic champion in the middleweight at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

History in Color:

August 1, 1967, Moscow, USSR – The 90kg weight class winners of the 1967 USSR Spartakiade and 1967 USSR Championships are receiving their awards at the “Shakhter” (Coal Miner) Weightlifting Hall in Moscow (left to right):

Anatoly Kalenichenko (silver medal, Dynamo Volgograd,  482.5kg), Jaan Talts (gold medal, Jiud Tallinn, 502.5kg), Alexander Kidyaev (bronze medal, Avangard Lugansk, 475kg), Victor Lyakh (4th place, Army Rostov, 470kg), Alexander Kasyanov (5th place, Lokomotiv Leningrad, 467.5kg), Karl Pumpurins (6th place, Dynamo Riga, 465kg)

It was the first USSR title won by Jaan Talts of Estonia. That night, 23-year old Estonian lifter set 3 world records and became the first middle heavyweight athlete in the world in the prestigious 500 Club.

History in Color:

June 1929, Cairo, Egypt – Olympic champion, 24-year old El Sayed Nosseir is training at the Cairo Sporting Club a year after winning a gold Olympic medal in Amsterdam.

El Sayed Nosseir (1905-1977) was an outstanding Egyptian Olympic weightlifter and sports manager. He was one of the first Olympic champions of Egypt overall.

Nosseir won his gold medal in the 82.5kg weight class at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.

As an athlete, Nosseir also managed to set 7 world records in his career in Olympic weightlifting.

After finishing his career as an athlete, he was responsible for a very successful Team Egypt, which was one of the top Olympic weightlifting team in the 1940s and in the 1950s. Here is the ranking Team Egypt in the world in those early decades of the 20th Century:

  • 1930s – No 5

  • 1940s – No 2

  • 1950s – No 4

  • 1960s – No 18

History in Color:

September 9, 1960, Rome, Italy – Light heavyweight Ireneusz Palinski of Team Poland competes in the snatch program on his way to his gold medal in the 82.5kg weight class at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.

It was a historical day in the history of Polish Olympic weightlifting. On September 9, 1960, 28-year old Ireneusz Palinski became the first Polish weightlifter ever to win an Olympic gold medal for Poland!

In Rome, Palinski also set a world record (180kg) in the clean-and-jerk. His victorious total was 442.5kg (130+132.5+180).

Ireneusz Palinski (1932-2006) was one of the best middle heavyweights in the history of Polish and world weightlifting of the 20th century.

He was the first Olympic weightlifter of Poland to win the Olympic title.

This memorable event took place in Rome in 1960 when Palinski won a gold Olympic medal in the 82.5kg class. Four years afterwards, he won a bronze medal in the 90kg category at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

In addition to his heroic performance at the 1960 Olympics, Ireneusz Palinski won the World Championship (1961), 4 silver world medals (1959, 1962, 1963, 1966) и 2 bronze medals (1958, 1964). He set 7 world records.

Ireneusz Palinski was a 9x champion of his native Poland and set 56 national records.

After his victorious lifting at the 1960 Olympics and at the 1961 World Championship, he was voted as the Best Athlete in Poland (1961). At the 1961 Worlds in Vienna, Palinsky managed to win over legendary Arkady Vorobyev (USSR) and Louis Martin (Great Britain).

With all these impressive results and title, Ireneusz began weightlifting training only at 22 during his service in the army.

Oldtimers of Polish weightlifting remember Ireneusz Palinski as a man with a “difficult personality”. He was tough, straightforward and not a man retreating to compromises.

However, when push was coming to shove, Palinsky was a very reliable and outstanding competitor and definitely a clutch lifter.

Palinski didn’t like team meetings. In fact, he trained in his own gym, never asked coaches for help and was famous for his long and very detailed training plans. In many ways, this historical experience of the great Polish legend reminded the style of Vasily Alexeev in Russia or Gyoza Veres in Hungary. Both also trained in solitude and showed little interest in coaching consults.

Alexander Voronin: Leningrad (1979)

History in Color:

July 25, 1979, Leningrad, Russia – 28-year old flyweight, Olympic champion Alexander Voronin of Kemerovo, Russia goes for 137.5kg in the clean-and-jerk program in the 52kg weight class at the 1979 USSR Spartakiade and USSR Championships at the Yubileyny Arena in Leningrad.

That night in Leningrad, mighty Voronin won the national title with a total of 240kg (107.5+132.5). He went for the world records in the 4th attempt in snatch (111.5kg) and clean-and-jerk (242.5kg) lifts but failed both times.

Interestingly enough, Voronin won a gold medal but the 1st place was taken by Han  Gyong-Si, a guest lifter from the North Korea who finished with a world record in the snatch (111kg) and the best total of 242.5kg (107.5+135).

Alexander Voronin (1951-1992) was an outstanding flyweight athlete. He won the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, the World Championships in 1976 and 1977 and the European Championship in 1976. 1977, 1979 and 1980.

On the national level, he won the Soviet Championships and Spartakiades in 1975 and 1979. He won the USSR Cup in 1975 and 1980.

In his career, Voronin set 13 world records.

His personal best total was 247.5kg (107.5+140), the world record he set at the 1977 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

Karel Saitl (Czech Republic) Turns 95

November 5, 2019 – Happy Birthday to Karel Saitl (Czech Republic)!

2x Olympian for Czechoslovakia, 15x national champion, medalist of World and European Championships turns 95 today!


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То, что не скажешь по-русски. Author's daily blog in English - CHIDLOVSKI Blog CHIDLOVSKI.


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