Record-breaking Georgian athlete Lasha Talakhadze has earned his third straight Best Male Lifter title in an International Weightlifting Federation poll, earning an “overwhelming” number of votes and taking the latest honour for his competitive performances.
Talakhadze, four-time winner of both World- and European Championships and a 2016 Olympic Games gold medal recipient for Georgia, took the 109+ kg category IWF title after the poll ahead of Armenia’s Simon Martirosyan and China’s Xiaojun Lyu.
The Georgian received 17,084 votes, a major share of selections cast in the men’s section, compared to 5,514 and 2,169 for second- and third-placed competitors respectively.
You have voted! ????You choose the Lifters of the year 2019! And the winners are… TALAKHADZE Lasha and NYE Katherine Elizabeth!
Congratulations to them, they’re both fantastic athletes! ????#IWF #weightlifting #athletes #sports pic.twitter.com/rUzyGlFo1V
— IWF (@iwfnet) February 20, 2020
The polling was run on the IWF website and involved five athletes for men and women each, with over 50,000 votes cast in total. United States’ Katherine Nye took the top honour among women, with competition much closer compared to men’s section.
Georgia’s giant, Talakhadze celebrates his third victory in a row. No wonder, he laid the foundations for this honour with further stupefying world records and another world champion title in 2019 in the superheavy category” – IWF said in reaction to the polling result.
Talakhadze most recently emerged from the Roma 2020 Weightlifting World Cup with three gold medals earlier this month. The top-scoring athlete was first in both snatch and clean-and-jerk sections and also scored the overall win in combined results.
The Georgian’s 220 kg snatch lift was a world record-scoring effort until 2018 when the IWF made changes to the system. Talakhadze later equalled the result at the 2019 World Championships in Thailand, where he lifted 220 kg in the category. He has set nearly 20 world records during his career, including 484 kg in combined section.
The weightlifter is recipient of the President’s Order of Excellence of Georgia for his achievements at the 2016 Olympic Games and earned Georgia’s Sportsperson of the Year title in 2017 and 2018.