Asian Indoor Games: Iran’s Sohrab Moradi credits training facilities in Ashgabat for world record lift
The Iranian weightlifting squad is a force to be reckoned with! With as many as three Asian-level gold medallists participating across eight weightlifting categories, Iran along with continental heavyweights China, are the countries to beat in Ashgabat. However, Iran’s Men’s 94 kg weightlifter Sohrab Moradi set the Games’ first World Record with a total lift of 413 kg, surpassing an 18-year mark of 412 kg set in 1999 by Georgia’s Kakhi Kakhiashvilli at the World Weightlifting Championships in Greece.
The 28-year-old continued his spectacular performance from the 2016 Olympics, where he won gold, but that wasn’t even close to this particular lift. In fact, he credited the infrastructure here in Ashgabat for his world record.
"Facilities better than Rio"
Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, he said, “I have been here in Ashgabat for almost five days and I honestly cannot believe how good the facilities are here. In fact, I can tell you this for sure, that the facilities here are better than the ones I got in Rio. If you’re a weightlifter in my category, there are several things you can use here to enhance your strength. For example, the number of weights I need for my World Record lift were not even available."
"Here I could do above 228 kg, the amount I raised the bar to after my second lift. In Rio, I couldn’t even do that. So these are the small things that help. It seems the entire interior design of the practice area was done by consulting a weightlifter. It really helps, the facilities here are world class and I think I will return for any other event here,” stated Sohrab.
The Iranian lifter recorded a score of 185 kilograms in the Snatch event and 228 kilograms in the Clean and Jerk to create history. Overall, he finished a whopping 26 kilograms more than bronze medallist, Liu Hao of China.
Lifted 415 kg in training, says coach
Iran’s weightlifting coach Sajjad Anoushiravani also praised the facilities here in Ashgabat. He said, “I have been to several weightlifting centers across the world, but this has to be one of the best I have seen. I went to Rio and London with Sohrab and this has to be the best. In fact you won’t believe, two days ago in training, he lifted a total of 415 kg and so, we were quite confident of the result actually."
He added, "But doing something in training and doing something on match day is something different. We were hopeful of beating the record in Rio as well, but as you know everything doesn’t go according to plan and neither did this. However, we had a strong three days of training and we knew we would be able to do it this time. Now that it’s done, we can take a small break back home.”
With as many as four lifters left to compete at the weightlifting events, Iran’s chances seem stronger than ever. In fact, Sohrab himself has been training some of the other junior competitors in other categories such as Hashemi Ali in the 105 kg category.
Hashemi said, “Even though he is a lifter from a lower weight category, he is a legend back home because of what he has achieved. We all look up to him and seek his advice. He has asked us to keep calm and we have trained with him for the past few days. Needless to say, the facilities are world class.”
With Sohrab setting the tone for Iran, the middle eastern nation will only go from strength to strength in one of their national sports -- weightlifting.