A new contender has emerged in one of weightlifting‘s most competitive divisions. At the 2021 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships, Karlos Nasar of Bulgaria conquered the scoreboard by clean & jerking 208 kilograms (458.5 pounds) in the Men’s 81-kilogram event On Dec. 12, 2021, for a new world record. Nasar took silver in the snatch with 166 kilograms (365.9 pounds), behind Moldovan lifter Marin Robu, for a combined total of 374 kilograms (824.5 pounds).
The young Bulgarian’s performance in Tashkent, Uzbekistan not only clinched him the gold medal in the total, but he also exceeded multiple records across various age brackets. His efforts on the day made him the record holder in the following categories of the 81-kilogram division:
- Youth World Record Snatch
- Youth World Record Clean & Jerk
- Youth World Record Total
- Junior World Record Clean & Jerk
- Junior World Record Total
- Senior World Record Clean & Jerk*
*Note: Nasar took multiple records away from 81-kilogram athletes Li Dayin and Lu Xiaojun of China. Team China elected not to participate in the 2021 World Championships due to travel and quarantine concerns.
You can check out a video of Nasar’s astounding world-record jerk below, from the /r/weightlifting subreddit courtesy of user /u/TheYKcid:
Related: [Five of the Greatest Weightlifting Battles of All Time]
Karlos Nasar’s Weightlifting Career
Bulgaria is known for producing some of the strongest weightlifters to ever live, and Nasar appears to be their latest bannerman on the world stage. Although the competition in Tashkent was his inaugural performance at a Senior World Championships, Nasar has been racking up medals in youth and junior events for several years.
Earlier in 2021, Nasar competed in the European Championships held in Moscow, Russia, where he set multiple Junior regional records and took the silver medal overall:
- Snatch: 163 kilograms (359.4 pounds) — European Junior Record
- Clean & Jerk: 206 kilograms (454.2 pounds) — European Senior Record
- Total: 369 kilograms (813.5 pounds) — European Junior Record
In addition to his Junior and now Senior-level accolades, Nasar is adorned by gold medals from several Youth competitions as well:
- 2018 European Youth Weightlifting Championships
- 2019 European Youth Weightlifting Championships
- 2019 World Youth Weightlifting Championships
- 2020 Youth World Cup
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Team China’s absence from a World event has shaken up the playing field in nearly every weight class. Despite athletes like Shi Zhiyong and Lu Xiaojun not taking the stage in Tashkent, the competition remained as tight as ever, particularly in the Men’s 81-kilogram class.
A new batch of middleweight powerhouses like Iran’s Mir Mostava Javadi — the only lifter in the A Group to go six-for-six on the day — Tokyo Olympian Brayan Rodallegas of Colombia, and Russia’s Vyacheslav Yarkin are making early strides that signal a highly competitive season before the next Olympic Games in Paris 2024.
However, Karlos Nasar appears to be in another league altogether. From hitting world-record-caliber lifts in training to bullying the barbell at a Senior event where many older, more tenured competitors struggled, the Bulgarian may be the new king of the 81-kilogram class.
Featured Image: @iwfnet on Instagram