50 years ago, on December 19-22, 1968, the 1968 USSR Team Championships tournament was held in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan. The winners were:
- 1st place – Soviet Army Team,
- 2nd place – Dynamo Team,
- 3rd place – Burevestnik Team (colleges and universities)
The 1968 USSR Team Championships was one of the first tournaments covered by a young photographer Gogi Gurgenyan of Fergana, Uzbekistan. With his permission, we publish our color version of his black-and-white photos in our History in Color series.
History in Color:
December 19, 1968, Alma Ata, Kazakhstan – Brilliant Soviet featherweight, world record holder, Erkin Karimov of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, competes for the Burevestnik Team in the 60kg class at the 1968 USSR Team Championships in Alma Ata.
Erkin Karimov (b. 1942) was one of the athletes that belonged to the so called “unsung heroes” of Olympic weightlifting in the USSR. He was one of the best weightlifters in the USSR in the 60kg class in the late 1960s – early 1970s but had no significant exposure to the international tournaments.
Karimov competed for the Burevestnik Club of Tashkent, Uzbekistan and won medals at 5 Soviet nationals. It included winning gold medals in 1967 and 1968.
In 1971, Karimov won the USSR Cup and gold medals in all three lifts – the press, the snatch and the clean-and-jerk.