Though the 2016 Rio Olympics didn’t end as he’d hoped after missing all his clean & jerks, Iranian superheavyweight Behdad Salimi is training to once again stand at the top of the international podium. A recent 260kg training clean & jerk suggests he’s certainly on the right track.
Check out the lift below:
Salimi is the 2012 Olympic Champion and also has World Championship titles from 2010 and 2011. His best clean & jerk in international competition is 255kg, which he successfully completed at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. However, we haven’t seen him go north of 250kg on stage since he tore his ACL before the 2015 World Championships, an injury that almost kept him out of the 2016 Olympics.
Salimi is a multi-time World Record holder in the snatch, though it’s the current holder of that record — Georgia’s Lasha Talakhadze — who remains Salimi’s biggest rival on the international stage. Their snatch battle at the 2016 Rio Games is considered one of the most impressive superheavyweight battles in recent weightlifting history, with both lifters setting new World Records within minutes of each other. (It’s worth noting we’ve seen both lifters go as high as 220kg in the snatch, Salimi in training and Talakhadze at the 2017 Georgian National Championships.)
Talakhadze is the reigning World and Olympic Champion, as well as the World Record holder in both the snatch (217kg) and total (473kg). Joining them at the 2017 World Championships will be Iran’s Saeid Alihosseini, who is coming off a doping suspension. In recent months, Alihosseini has put up impressive numbers in training and national competition, with some suggesting he could give both Salimi and Talakhadze a challenge in Anaheim.
Of course, the three lifters mentioned above aren’t the only impressive male superheavyweights who will be in Anaheim. Brazil’s Fernando Reis and Estonia’s Mart Seim have their sights set on the podium, and we’re surely in store for a great battle during the competition’s final session.
Featured image: @behdadsalimi_aytakin on Instagram