December 1st, 2021

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Yanko Rusev (Bulgaria) Wins a European Title and Sets 3 World Redords in Varna


December 1, 2021 – Happy Birthday to legendary Yanko Rusev of Bulgaria!

An Olympic champion, 5x World champion, 5x European Champion, author of 25 world records, Yanko Rusev is turning 63.



History in Color:

May 22, 1979, Varna, Bulgaria – 20-year old lightweight Yanko Rusev, member of the national weightlifting team of Bulgaria, wins a gold medal and sets 3 world records in the 67.5kg class at the 1979 European Championships in Varna.


His final total was 322.5kg (145 + 177.5). Rusev managed to set 2 world records in snatch (145 and 146kg) and 1 cj world record  (181.5kg). In his career,  Yanko Rusev set 25 world records and his personal best were:



  • 67.5kg class – 342.5kg (147.5 + 195) at the 1980 Summer Olympics in  Moscow

  • 75kg class – 365kg (157.5 + 207.5) at the 1982 World Championships in Ljubljana


Yanko Rusev (born 1958) is definitely one of the best Olympic weightlifters of all times and nations in the history of this sport. He was a 5x World champion (1978-1982), a 5x European Champion (1978-1982) and, of course, an Olympic champion (1980). Due to the boycott of the Summer Olympics in LA, Yanko Rusev didn’t compete in the 1984 Olympics. Instead, he won the alternative 1984 Friendship Cup in Varna with a 337.5kg total (145+192.5).


Yanko Rusev shined with an outstanding strength and almost perfect lifting technique in both the snatch and the clean-and-jerk lifts. He was a definite leader in the lightweight and the middleweight divisions and was considered virtually unbeatable at the time he competed in these weight classes.