Albania’s sole Olympic record holder dies at 73

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 18, 2017 16:56
Pampuri sets a world record at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games

Pampuri sets a world record at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games

TIRANA, Jan. 18 – One of Albania’s best weightlifters, Olympic Games  record holder in the no longer practiced clean and press style, Ymer Pampuri, has died at the age of 73 in his hometown of Tirana following a heart attack.

In 1972, Pampuri set a world record at the Munich Olympic Games for the press at featherweight lifting 127.5 kg, finishing ninth overall following an injury. He has since been a world record holder in the clean and press which later in 1972 was removed from competition due to difficulties in judging proper technique and health concerns.

In one of his rare interviews, Pampuri recalled how Albania’s communist authorities of that time took him to a psychiatrist for his comments that he would come back as a champion from the Olympic Games and how he was punished for giving an interview with a foreign TV upon his return.

Albania sent a team of four shooters and a weightlifter to the Munich 1972 Olympic Games but the team did not reappear at the Olympic Games until 1992 when the communist regime collapsed.

Weightlifting has traditionally been Albania’s best performing Olympic discipline at international competitions. Ilirjan Suli finished fifth in the men’s middleweight category at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and Romela Begaj was sixth in the women’s lightweight at Beijing 2008.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 18, 2017 16:56