There’s been speculation around the weightlifting world whether 2012 Olympic Champion Behdad Salimi could return from knee surgery in time for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Salimi — who injured his knee on a 262kg jerk attempt in training in October 2015 — returned to the platform on June 2nd, and while his participation in Rio hasn’t been 100% confirmed, it looks like he’s certainly back to lifting big boy weights.

Salimi lifted in the +105kg class at the first Fajr Cup, where just two days prior, fellow Iranian lifter Kianoush Rostami broke the longstanding clean & jerk world record in the 85kg weight class. Because the Fajr Cup is an IWF Grand Prix, lifts count toward world records — and lifters can also use the event toward the required quota of two recent international events in order to gain Olympics eligibility.

Fajr Cup 105 plus scoreboard

Salimi won the weight class pretty easily, going 195/201/205 in the snatch and hitting his opening clean & jerk at 225kg. You can see his 205 snatch below; Salimi currently holds the world record with 214kg, which he hit at the 2011 World Championships in Paris.

News outlet Varzesh3 covered the event, capturing Salimi’s successful clean & jerk and interviewing the champ after his lifts. 

It appears Salimi has switched to a power jerk, likely in order to protect his reconstructed knee. Missed attempts at 231 kg — well below Salimi’s previous international best clean & jerks — signal he may have an uphill battle in Rio against a healthy Lasha Talakhadze and Ruslan Albegov, both of whom have hit clean & jerks over 250 in recent competitions.

That is, of course, assuming he competes.

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BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting. David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of Greatist.com. In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and Fortune.com, as well as a contributor to Forbes.com, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day. David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.