June 10th, 2018

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World Record By Jordan Mitkov


History in Color:

April 7, 1976, Berlin, East Germany – 21-year old middleweight Yordan Mitkov of Asenovgrad, Bulgaria sets a new world record in clean-and-jerk at 190.5kg at the 1976 European Championships in East Germany.

Yordan Mitkov ended the tournament with a bronze medal for 330kg (147.5+182.5) total. He was behind Vartan Militosyan (USSR, gold) and Peter Wenzel (East Germany, silver). In fact, a few minutes later Militosyan broke Mitkov’s world record with a 191kg cj.

However, the main tournament of the year was to be held later in Montreal. Mitkov won the gold in the middleweight at the 1976 Summer Olympics downgrading both Militosyan and Wenzel one step down compared to their placement at the Europeans.

Besides winning the gold at the 1976 Olympic and World Championships, Mitkov also won gold medals at the 1979 World Championship in Varna, Bulgaria and the 1979 Bulgarian Nationals in Sofia.

He managed to set 4 world records in his career.

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Vladimir Kuznetsov


History in Color:

Vladimir Kuznetsov, middleweight of Spartak Krasnodar is about to begin a clean-and-jerk lift at the 1989 USSR Championships in Frunze, Kirgizia.

Vladimir Kuznetsov (b. 1963) was one of the brightest Soviet athletes in the 75kg class in the 1980s.

Kuznetsov was a graduate of Olympic weightlifting school in Krasnodar, Russia. He was a World vice-champion in 1983and a European champion (1990, 1992). He was a world record holder in the middleweight which was dominated by Bulgarian athletes and his weight class was a tough class to win for Team CCCP at the time.

On the national level, Kuznetsov won 3 gold medals at the USSR Championships (1983, 1984, 1986) and 3 gold medals at the USSR Cups  (1982, 1985, 1986).

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Bulgaria 3 CCCP 1


3:1? It ain’t some soccer game scoreboard. Just a counter for the athletes’ country representation on the History in Color cover photo (left to right):

Yevgeny Popov (Bulgaria, 110+kg), Georgi Todorov (Bulgaria, 60kg), Aslanbek Yenaldiev (USSR, 110+kg) and Valentin Khristov (Bulgaria, 110kg)

My guess the original black-and-white photo was taken during the joint Soviet and Bulgarian training camp in Tsaghkadzor, Armenia before the 1980 Summer Olympics.

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Geza Toth of Hungary


The History in Color series features Geza Toth of Hungary, one of the best Olympic weightlifters in the world in the 1960s.

Geza Toth (1932-2011) was a part of so-called “Magnificent Seven” group of Hungarian lifters that brought many awards, medals and world records back from the elite world tournaments and made Team Hungary one of the top contenders in the world of Olympic weightlifting.

Toth was a distinguished 3x Olympian – he represented his country at the Summer Olympics in 1960, 1964 and 1968. He took the 4th place in Rome and won a silver medal in Tokyo.

Geza Toth competed in the light heavy and middle heavyweight classes and for a decade consistently earned medals at the World and European Championships. He became a World champion in 1966 in East Berlin and won gold medals at the European Championships in 1964 and 1968.

He was a world record holder and set 157 Hungarian national records in his career as an athlete.

After his retirement, Geza Toth trained Olympic weightlifters in Hungary, Austria and South America.