January 21st, 2018

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Ruslan Tarkil

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Our History in Color photo series presents Ruslan Tarkil of the Gantiadi club of Sukhumi, Abkhazia performing the snatch lift at the Friendship Cup.


Ruslan Tarkil is definitely an “unsung hero” of Olympic weightlifting for many international Iron Game fans.


He was born in 1952 and competed on the national level in the 90kg and 100kg weightclasses for the Gantiadi club of his home town Sukhumi, Abkhazia located on the Black Sea coast.


He is a member of the Club 500 that includes Olympic lifters who were able to reach 500kg in total (press+snatch+jerk). Ruslan was able to join the list as a middle heavyweight back in 1971 with the poundage of 165kg (press) + 150kg (snatch) + 185kg (cj).


In 1975, Tarkil won a silver medal in the 100kg weight class, one of the most competitive among Soviet athletes of the 1970s, at the USSR Championship in Vinlius, Lithuania.


The original black-and-white photo was donated to the History in Color @Lift Up by its author, Gogi Gurgenyan who was born and grew up in Sukhumi, Tarkil’s hometown. Both Gogi and Ruslan are lifelong friends.

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Training in Stockholm

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Weightlifting History in Color:


Team USSR Weightlifting is training during the 1963 World Champuonship in Stockholm, Sweden.


Team CCCP 1963

Team CCCP in 1963


In the back (left to right), Vladimir Kaplunov (67.5kg, Khabarovsk, Russia), Eduard Brovko (90kg, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine), Alexey Vakhonin (56kg, Shakhty, Russia), Arkady Vorobyev (head coach, Moscow, Russia), Yevgeny Minaev (60kg, Moscow, Russia), Leonid Zhabotinsky (90+kg, Zaporozhye, Ukraine) and Yakov Kutsenko (Soviet federation of Olympic weightlifting, Kiev, Ukraine).


On the front platform, Alexander Kyrynov (75kg, Kazan, Russia) is cleaning a training weight.


Two members of the team, Yury Vlasov and Rudolph Plyukfelder are not present in the showcased photo.