Is Weightlifter Kianoush Rostami Moving to the -94kg Class?

World record holding Olympic weightlifter Kianoush Rostami may be moving up a weight class. Iran_Weightlifting, a popular Instagram dedicated to covering the nation’s exploits in the sport, published a long interview with the -85kg superstar in which he said he was making the change.

There are a few reasons why this is particularly interesting: he’d be joining Sohrab Moradi in his weight class, a guy who routinely breaks his own world records in training; and he’s making this decision despite the fact that the IWF is expected to announce entirely new weight classes by the end of the summer.

The post is in Persian so we had to rely on Google translate for this, but here’s what we’ve pieced together. Note that we removed one question and answer because it was hard to make sense of the translation — consider this more of a summary of what we were able to work out.

Kianoush Roustami’s decision to change weight and join Sohrab Moradi’s -94kg class was just announced. The -85kg Rio Olympic champion spoke with ISNA about his weight change and announced that we would see “the real Kianosh Roustami” in the 2020 Olympics.

Why did you decide to change your weight to -94kg?

For eight years, I was the best athlete in the category of -85kg and I would like to show what I’ve got in another weight class and show the world that I can succeed in other weight classes. I’ve been heavier for almost two months.

Will you wait for the new weight classes to be announced by the IWF to gain weight?

It does not matter. Any weight that’s announced, I will match it.

What are your records?

I’ve made lifts of 225kg and 227kg, so there is hope that one day there will be something much better than my -85kg records.

How will you compete at the 2018 Asian Games?

By then, my body will be stronger and the difference will be huge. By then, two kilograms of my body fat will be muscle.


The concern is that you won’t be able to fit into the new weight class at the Asian Games. What do you think?

My goal is much bigger than this medal, and the most important thing for me is to take Iran to great heights at the 2020 Olympics in a new weight class. (…) I want to make people happy, like everyone when they saw the national football team against Portugal. People’s prayers must be behind us to succeed. God willing, everyone in the Asian Games can make people happy in Iran. People don’t live in good conditions and many people have little money. I hope we can at least make people happy in this situation.

Though we didn’t manage to translate everything, we did glean this quote as well:

Do not accept this Kianoush Roustami. It’s time that you see the real Kianoush Roustami. Do not doubt Kianosh Roustami in the new weight will surely want a gold medal.

Rostami and Moradi both vying for -94kg world records is an exciting thought, but again, we’re sure everyone’s dieting and weight management strategies will be thrown for a loop once the new weight classes are announced. Watch this space!

Featured image via @iran_weightlifting on Instagram.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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