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U.S. Weightlifting: Strong in the 1940s

History in Color (left to right):

George and Peter George, both of A.C.M.W.L. Akron, OH, and Frank Spellman of the York Barbell Club, York, PA.

Ravil Khabutdinov (USSR)

Lift Up: History in Color

December 15, 2018 – Vice champion of the 1956 Summer Olympics, Ravil Khabutdinov would have celebrated his 90th Birthday.

Ravil Khabutdinov (1928-1997) was one of the top guns in the lightweight in the Soviet Union of the 1950s. He represented the USSR at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne and won a silver medal in the 67.5kg with a total of 372.5kg (125+110+137.5) and an Olympic record in the press lift.

Ravil Khabutdinov competed for the Krylya Sovetov Club in the 67.5kh and in the 75kg classes. He won a gold (1957) and a bronze (1956) medals at the USSR Championships.

On the international arena, besides being and Olympic vice champion, he won the European title in 1957 and a silver medal at the European Championships in 1956.

In his weightlifting career, Khabutdinov set 7 world records.  All 7 were in the press.



History in Color:

July 13, 1972, Riga, Latvia – Soviet middle heavyweight David Rigert of Shakhty, Russia presses a 198kg world record in the 90kg class at the 1972 Baltic Cup in Riga.

David Rigert managed to set 4 world records at the 1972 Baltic Cup in Riga – 1 in press, 1 in snatch and 2 in total. After the elimination of the press lift from Olympic weightlifting competitions in 1972, world record by Rigert in Riga became an “eternal” world record in the middle heavyweight class.

Ironically, the eternal press record was rather far from being a clean version. It was rather a very loose interpretation of Olympic press lifting. Needless to say, Olympic press wasn’t a forte of Rigert. In his career he set 65 world records – 22 in total, 21 in snatch, 21 in cj and only 1 in press.

This “only 1 in press” was the eternal world record in Riga shown on the cover photo.


History in Color:

September 17, 1970, Columbus, Ohio, USA – Soviet light heavyweight Gennady Ivanchenko of Riga, Latvia wins the World title in the 82.5 kg at the 1970 World Championships in Columbus.

Ivanchenko won gold medals in all three lifts and in total and set two world records in Columbus. North American members of the audience that attended the World Championships definitely had a very good impression of Ivanchenko’s performance and presence on the competition platform.

When we asked Gennady about his impressions on America and the tournament in Columbus, he said:

“When we got to the United States, the first impressions were huge. We arrived to New York, saw the tall buildings, the skyscrapers. It was all very unusual to us. Then we moved to Columbus. It was a very nice and beautiful city, very green. Very nice atmosphere, friendly people. We really loved the city and got a nice welcome there… I was well prepared for the tournament. I did all those world records in training and all I had to do is to repeat it at the Worlds. The most important thing was not to burn out. I used all my attempts and made two world records. My total was 505 kg. I can’t say I used all my potential at the moment. I played save with my attempts – not to have misses.”

Yury Yablonovsky: Record of the Union

History in Color:

May 18, 1968, Lugansk, Ukraine, USSR – Yury Yablonovsky. heavyweight of the Avangard Lugansk Club, sets a new USSR record in the clean-and-jerk (192.5kg) at the 1968 USSR Championship in Lugansk (Voroshilovgrad).

Yury Yablonovsky (1936-1979) was one of the top Soviet heavyweights from the late 1960s to 1970s. He competed for the Avangard Lugansk club and from 1967 to 1971 earned medals at the USSR Championships including 2 gold (1967, 1968) and 3 bronze medals (1969, 1970, 1971). In addition, Yablonovsky was a 4x Champion of Ukraine (1965, 1966, 1967, 1967).

He was a World record holder and and set 7 USSR records and 27 records of Ukraine.

In 1967, he won a heavyweight title at the 1967 USSR Spartakiade and, in 1971, he took the 3rd place for Ukraine at the 1971 USSR Spartakiade.

Yury Yablonovsky was a Club 500 member. His personal best was 560kg (198+160+210) total in Voroshilovgrad (September 1970).



Imre Foldi: World Record in Budapest (1965)

The Lift Up: History in Color series continues…

April 9, 1965, Budapest, Hungary – legendary Imre Foldi of Team Hungary celebrates a new featherweight world record in press at the 5th Danube Cup in Budapest.

One of the best Olympic weightlifters of all times, Imre Foldi was the first Hungarian to win the Olympics in this sport. Imre Foldi competed at five Summer Olympics – in 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1976. He brought home medal from three of them. He won 1 gold medal in Munich and 2 silver medals in Tokyo and Montreal.

Imre was a 13-times champion of Hungary. At 13 World Championships that Foldi competed in, he won 16 gold, 16 silver and 7 bronze medals.

Foldi set 21 world records – 15 in the press and 6 in the total.

All of these outstanding results were achieved despite of a serious physical disability that can be clearly seen on the cover photo.

Note: December 8, 2018 – Olympic vice champion Nail Mukhamedyarov turns 56. Congrats and best wishes to the Champ!

History in Color:

July 6, 1989, Frunze, Kyrgyzstan – Olympic vice champion Nail Mukhamedyarov of Team Uzbekistan competes in the middle heavyweight at the 1989 USSR Champiohships in Frunze.

Note: December 8, 2018 – Olympic vice champion Nail Mukhamedyarov turns 56. Congrats and best wishes to the Champ!

Nail Mukhamedyarov (b. 1962) was one of the strongest Soviet middle heavyweights of the late 1980s. He competed for Team USSR at the 1988 Summer Olympics and won a silver medal in the 90kg class with a total of 400kg (177.5+222.5). He also won a silver medal at the 1990 World Championships in Budapest.

Nail Mukhamedyarov won a gold (1988) and 3 silver medals (1985, 1990, 1991) at the USSR Championships and became a vice champion at the 1991 USSR Spartakiade in Donetsk. He won the 1986 USSR Cup and won a gold USSR Championships medal in the clean-and-jerk in 1986.

His personal best results in total were:

  • 82.5kg class – 375kg (165+210, July 4, 1986, Lipetsk, Russia)

  • 90kg class – 402.5kg (182.5+220, July 2, 1988, Kharkov, Ukraine)

  • 100kg class – 410kg (180+230, September 8, 1990, Lipetsk, Russia)

History in Color:

Havana, Cuba, 1984 –10x Cuban national champion, middle heavyweight of Team Cuba, Ciro Ibanez competes in the 90kg weight class at the 1984 Manuel Suares tournament in Havana.

Ciro Ibanez (born in 1959) was one of the lead Cuban athletes in the 1980s. He mostly competed in the middle heavyweight class and won 10 national championships of Cuba.

On the international arena, he won the gold at the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, 2 Pan American Championships (1981, 1983) and 2 Cental American Championships. He represented national Team Cuba at the 1983 World Championships in Moscow (90kg, 5th place) and at 1986 World Championships in Sofia (100kg, 9th place) and at numerous top international tournaments of the 1980s. Unfortunately for Ciro, he wasn’t able to compete at the Olympics due to boycotts of Cuban government of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.

His personal best was the total of 385kg (167.5 + 217.5) at the Manuel Suares in Havana (1984) shown on the cover photo.


Albert Nasibulin (USSR): Donetsk, 1991

History in Color:

August 12, 1991, Donetsk, Ukraine – 22-year old bamtamweight Albert Nasibulin of the Dynamo Kharkov, Ukraine team competes in the 56kg weight class at the 1991 USSR Championships in Donetsk.

A year earlier, Albert Nasibulin (b. 1969) won the 1990 USSR title in the bantamweight class with a 270kg (120+150) total. The championship in Donetsk was the last USSR Championships. Albert took the 3rd place with 265kg (120+145) total.

On the elite international level, Albert Nasibulin went on to win a silver medal for the CIS team at the European Championships in Szekszard and a bronze medal for Ukraine at the European Championships in Sofia.

Ricardo Villalobos (Cuba): Moscow, 1978


History in Color:

March 16, 1978, Moscow, Russia – Ricardo Villalobos, lightweight of Team Cuba, performs a clean-and-jerk lift in the 67.5kg class at the 1978 Friendship Cup in Moscow.

Mario Ricardo Villalobos (b. 1956) was a lightweight athlete who represented Cuba on numerous international level competitions. In 1979, he won the 1979 Pan American Games in Puerto Rico with 300kg (135+165) total. His personal best result was 302.5kg (137.5+165)  total in Budapest (August 1983).


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


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