Antonio Krastev of Bulgaria was a weightlifter who competed in the super heavyweight class (110+kg). He had was a 5-time medalist at the World Weightlifting Championships, including golds in 1985 (Södertälje, Sweden) and 1986 (Sofia, Bulgaria).
His most notable accomplishment in the sport may have been his long standing International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) world record snatch of 216kg/476lb. He successfully hit that lift on September 13th, 1987 at the World Weightlifting Championships in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia at the age of 26.
That record that stood unmatched for an incredible 29 years until it was equalled by Iran’s Behdad Salimi at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. It would be remain unbroken for three decades until Lasha Talakhadze of Georgia surpassed it by 1kg at the 2017 European Championships in Split, Croatia. Talakhadze furthered the record to its current 220kg/485lb.
As reported by insidethegames, Krastev passed away after his involvement in an “alcohol related” car accident where he was not wearing his seatbelt. The police report said Krastev was pinned underneath his SUV “when it ran a red light…crossed the median into the eastbound lanes then rolled off the road.” He was 58 years old.
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Despite holding multiple world records in the snatch and a world record total of 467.5kg/1,033.7lb at the 1987 European Weightlifting Championships in Reims, France (where he won his second of two gold medals), Krastev never competed at the Olympic Games.
He was qualified and ready to compete in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games but the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation (BWF) pulled the team from competition following the failed drug tests of two of Krastev’s teammates — Mitko Grubler and Angel Genchev (both tested positive for the banned substance furosemide). Both Grubler and Genchev forfeited their gold medals.
If you have never seen Krastev’s 216kg/476lb world record snatch, check out the video below courtesy of Weightlifting News Agent’s YouTube channel:
note: the lift starts at 16:00
Who is Antonio Krastev?
Antonio Krastev was an accomplished Bulgarian weightlifter.
During his career, he won the World Weightlifting Championships twice, the European Weightlifting Championships twice, and set a decades longstanding snatch world record of 216kg/476lb.
How did Antonio Krastev die?
Antonio Krastev passed away after a drunk driving accident ejected him from his vehicle. He was 58 years old.
Feature image from Olympicwlift’s Instagram page: @olympicwlift