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Rostami praises ‘home town’ Ashgabat

01 June, 2017 (14:43)
Tags: Weightlifting, Iran

Kianoush Rostami loves Ashgabat. The 25-year-old Olympic Weightlifting Champion in the 85kg category enjoyed his visit to the Asian Weightlifting Championships 2017, which were held as a test event for the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat in September.

Rostami drove to Ashgabat by car. “I live only a forty-minute drive away from here in Iran”, he said. “It’s almost a home venue for me.”  

Turkmen weightlifting improving
Twofold World Champion Rostami, who not only won Olympic gold in Rio, but also silver at the 2012 Games in London, was impressed with the facilities at the Ashgabat Olympic Park, as well as with the competitive standard of the Turkmen weightlifters. “They’ve improved greatly. They have a national coach whom I competed with back at the 2011 World Championships in Paris and he has really raised the level of Turkmen weightlifting.”

Rostami was invited to the Asian Weightlifting Champions to hand over the medals in the 85kg category, and he was happy to be able to hand the golden Snatch medal to compatriot Saleh Cheraghi (IRI), who also grabbed a combined silver medal behind China’s Zhao Yongchao.

To his own regret, Rostami was not able to compete himself. “This was difficult for me. Usually I’m a lifter and now I’m not. I was very jealous to see all those guys competing, without being on the podium myself, but I have to train and rest right now.”

The Olympic Champion is preparing for the World Championships in Anaheim, United States, in November. “In my category, there’s a lot of competition, so it’s very hard to come out on top. I was very disappointed not to win at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, so Rio was a huge relief for me. I still want to compete in two more Olympics.”

The Weightlifting competition of Ashgabat 2017 will see the best lifters from Asia and Oceania compete over eight days from 18 September in 16 medal events at the Weightlifting Arena.

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