Iranian Weightlifting Stars Eying Athens

Almaty, Kazakhstan – With the Olympic games rapidly approaching, the powerful Iranian weightlifting team, which won two gold medals in Sydney, is focused on achieving its best results.

Defending Olympic superheavyweight champion Hossein Rezazadeh is not lifting at the Asian Weightlifting Championships, but 2000 Olympic gold medalist Hossein Tavakoli is: the 105-kg lifter said yesterday that he is healthy, his training is going well and that he hopes to medal again in Athens.  After Athens, Tavakoli said that he might move up to the superheavyweight class, where, weighing about 130 kg, he thinks he could do at least 200/250.

Shahin Nasirinia, who won over Pyrros Dimas at the 1999 World Weightlifting Championships in Athens, will be competing at the Asian Weightlifting Championships later today, in the 94-kg category.  Hossein Barkah, who blew out his left arm at the 2003 World Weightlifting Championships in Vancouver, is still rebuilding, and is only handling very light (for him) weights in the snatch and clean and jerk at the moment.   Ali Falahati Nejad, 77-kg gold medalist in Vancouver, did not compete at the Asian Weightlifting Championships, but his teammates said that he is training hard for Athens and is in excellent shape.

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