26 Nov 2011

Russian weightlifting legend dies

11:34 am on 26 November 2011

The former Soviet weightlifter Vasily Alekseyev, who won two Olympic and eight world super heavyweight titles and set 80 world records during his illustrious career, has died following a long illness.

His world record of 645 kg - the sum of three lifts set in 1972 - still stands and will never be broken because the three-lift competition has been abolished.

Alekseyev, who would have turned 70 in January, had been suffering heart problems for a long time.

He was already in a serious condition when he was sent to a clinic in Germany earlier this month.

Alekseyev, born in the small mining town of Shakhty in southern Russia in 1942, set his first world record in 1970 before winning his first world title later that year.

He held the world title for the next seven years and became the first man to total more than 600 kgs in the triple event.

He won the Olympic title at the 1972 Games in Munich and repeated his feat four years later at the Montreal Olympics.