It has been 5 years since the death of Olympic, world, and European champion Naim Süleymanoğlu, who is among the legendary athletes whose names are inscribed in gold letters in the World and Turkish weightlifting history.

The 2nd International Naim Süleymanoğlu Tournament, organized by the Turkish Weightlifting Federation and Pursaklar Municipality, was held on November 15-17, 2022, in Pursaklar Municipality, Ankara (TUR).

The tournament featured 72 athletes from 16 countries and was broadcast live on the TRTSPOR YILDIZ channel.

Excellent results were achieved, and an even larger number of competitors are expected to compete next year.


“Naim Naim Süleymanoğlu has been written in the world of sports with golden letters,” Turkish Weightlifting Federation President Talat Ünlü said during his opening ceremony speech. Naim Süleymanoğlu was born on January 23, 1967, in Bulgaria. He was the first weightlifter to win gold at three different Olympic Games (1988, 1992, and 1996), a seven-time senior World champion (1985, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995), a seven-time senior European champion (1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1994, 1995), and a world record holder with 46 world records. He was the youngest world record holder at 15 years old.

He was dubbed “Pocket Hercules” because of his specific stature and great strength. Following the Summer Olympics in 1988, he was featured on the cover of the famous Time magazine.

In 2001, he received the Olympic Order. He was inducted into the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame in 2004.

As part of the 2012 London Olympic Games, its name was given to a station on the London Underground. In 2018, a street in Çankaya was named “Naim Süleymanoğlu” by the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality.

“Pocket Hercules: Naim Süleymanoğlu,” based on the book “My Brother, Pocket Hercules,” tells the life of Naim Süleymanoğlu, who left a mark on Turkish sports history, and whose screenplay was written by Bariş Pirhasan, and includes the memoirs of Naim Süleymanoğlu’s brother Muharrem Süleymanoğlu. On November 22, 2019, the film was released to the public.

Naim Süleymanoğlu died on November 18, 2017.


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