Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.


Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence


Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
2-min read

Turkey's 'Pocket Hercules' Suleymanoglu Passes Away at 50

Turkey's legendary triple Olympic gold-medal winning weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu, the diminutive "pocket Hercules," has died aged 50, state media said.


Updated:November 18, 2017, 8:13 PM IST
Turkey's 'Pocket Hercules' Suleymanoglu Passes Away at 50
Naim Suleymanoglu Image: AFP
Turkey's legendary triple Olympic gold-medal winning weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu, the diminutive "pocket Hercules," has died aged 50, state media said.

Suleymanoglu, was only 1.47 metres (4.8 feet) tall, scored a historic hat-trick of consecutive Olympic titles starting in Seoul in 1988 then Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996. He

The Bulgarian-born Suleymanoglu, who had in late September been admitted to intensive care after suffering liver failure, died in hospital in Istanbul, the Anadolu news agency said.

The weightlifter had been given a liver transplant earlier this month after a suitable donor was found and initial reports had said that the surgery was successful.

Suleymanoglu's exploits made him a national hero in Turkey, where he is regarded as one of the greatest sports personalities in the country's history.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had visited Suleymanoglu in hospital and received the news while delivering a speech to supporters, expressed his condolences on live television over Suleymanoglu's death.

"Turkish weightlifting has suffered a great loss," the head of the Turkish weightlifting federation Tamer Taspinar told Anadolu.

"He was the 'pocket Hercules' who broke 46 records. He was a sportsman who won the hearts not just of the Turkish people but the world," Taspinar added.

Dramatic Defection

The path to stardom for Suleymanoglu, who was born Naim Suleimanov as a member of the Turkish minority in Bulgaria, was not smooth.

He initially competed for Bulgaria but defected from the then-communist Bulgaria in December 1986 during the Weightlifting World Cup in Melbourne.

In an episode that caused a sensation at the time, Suleymanoglu left for London aboard the Turkish prime minister's jet, which then took him on to Turkey where he was given a hero's welcome.

Bulgaria fumed over his defection and Suleymanoglu was initially suspended for a year. But he then stormed to victory at the 1988 Olympics.

The tiny Suleymananoglu wowed spectators with his power and was one of few weightlifters who managed to clean and jerk three times his own bodyweight.

He built up one of the sport's greatest ever rivalries with Greece's Valerios Leonidis which was followed avidly by Turkish and Greek communities across the world.

After picking up a third Olympic title in Atlanta, he tried a comeback at the 2000 Sydney Games but suffered a rare failure. He failed to lift 145kg in three attempts and left Australia empty-handed.

He subsequently dabbled in politics, paying particular attention to the welfare of the Turkish minority in neighbouring Bulgaria and standing as a candidate for parliament for the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Suleymanoglu is the only weightlifter to win gold medals at three different Olympic Games. He was granted the Olympic Order by then IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch in 2001.

His exploits in Seoul in 1988 made him one of the stars of the games and Time magazine put him on the cover of its Games issue with one arm aloft in triumph under the headline: "Everybody Wins".
| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch


Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
  • 01 d
  • 12 h
  • 38 m
  • 09 s
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results