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Turkish weightlifter Taner Sagir

Those of you of a certain age may remember the Herculean feats of Russian weightlifter Vasiliy Alekseyev.

The super-heavyweight was unbeatable between 1970-78, setting 80 world records and winning Olympic gold in Munich and Montreal.

A serious injury in 1978 ended his hopes of winning a third title in his home Olympics in 1980 and he promptly retired.

In the 80s and 90s, fans had a new hero to cheer in Naim Süleymanoğlu.

He was born Naim Suleimanov in Bulgaria, but missed out on his first chance of winning gold when his country boycotted the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

He defected to Turkey, changed his name, and represented them in Olympic competition after the Bulgarian government demanded the Turks pay $1m for him - he won three successive golds in the featherweight category at the Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta Games.

Halil Mutlu followed in Süleymanoğlu's footsteps from Bulgaria to Turkey to triple gold medallist in the 56kg division at the Atlanta, Sydney and Athens Olympics.

The latest sensation though is Taner Sagir, another Bulgarian-born lifter who represents Turkey.

Sagir became the youngest Olympic champion in weightlifting history when he won the 77kg division in Athens four years ago.

His 172.5kg snatch and combined total of 375kg set a new Olympic record.

But who rates highest in your list of Olympic weightlfiters?

Peter Scrivener is a BBC Sport Journalist. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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