December 26th, 2019

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Remembering Legendary Khristo Plachkov (Bulgaria, 1953-2009))

The day of December 28, 2019 marks the 10th Anniversary of the death of legendary super heavyweight lifter Khristo Plachkov (1953-2009) of Bulgaria.

He was truly a legend in the history of Olympic weightlifting. Plachkov was a highly regarded athlete in the lineups of top heavyweight contenders of national and international tournaments in the 1970s. In addition to winning 3 national titles (1975, 1977, 1978), he won a bronze medal at the World Championships (1975) and a silver (1976) and bronze (1975) European medals.

Khristo Plachkov was a milestone athlete as the  first athlete in the world who snatch3d 200 kg. It happened on May 25, 1976 in Sofia. Khristo was only 23 and it was remarkable! That night in Sofia, Khristo Plachkov set two world records – 200kg in snatch and 442.5kg (200+242.5) in total. It was 7.5kg above the world record of Vasily Alexeev, the “strongest man on the planet” at the time.

Overall, Khristo Plachkov set 8 world records his career – 6 in the snatch lift and 2 in total.

The gallery below features photos with Plachkov from the History in Color series. It is our tribute to the Legend.


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Super Heavyweight Winners in December 1973

History in Color:

December 18, 1973, Tuapse, Russia – Super heavyweight winners at the medal ceremony of the 110+kg class at the 1973 USSR Cup held at the Seaman Palace in Tuapse (left to right):

Valentin Kuzmin (silver medal, Dynamo, Volgograd, Russia), Vladimir Kaplynov (Team Army, head coach), Leonid Zhabotinsky (gold medal, Army, Zaporozhye, Ukraine), Evgeny Schmidt (bronze medal, Army, Novosibirsk, Russia).

The were 143 althetes and 12 teams competing at the 1973 USSR Cup. Based on the tournament results, the top 3 teams were:

  1. Team Army

  2. Team Dynamo

  3. Team Avangard

For a 35-year old super heavyweight legend Leonid Zhabotinsky, 2x Olympic champion, 4x World champion and 5x USSR champion, it was the last gold medal in the major national contests. He set a new world record in snatch (183.5kg) and won the Cup with a 395kg total.